Cascades fall to Blues, but clinch playoff berth

Monique Huber paced the Cascades in hitting percentage, but Capilano prevailed in four sets. (Tree Frog Imaging file photo)

Monique Huber paced the Cascades in hitting percentage, but Capilano prevailed in four sets. (Tree Frog Imaging file photo)

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team fell to the Capilano Blues for the second straight night on the road, dropping a four-set decision at the Capilano Sportsplex on Saturday.

Despite the result, UFV locked up a PacWest playoff berth thanks to the Douglas Royals’ 3-1 victory over the Columbia Bible College Bearcats.

The Cascades, who were without starting left side Rachel Funk due to illness for the second straight night, dropped the first two sets in decisive fashion (25-16, 25-10) before regrouping to win the third set 25-22. The host Blues, though, wrapped up the match with a 25-20 win in the fourth.

UFV fell to 9-11, good for fifth place in the PacWest, while the third-place Blues improved to 11-9.

“We were definitely missing Rachel . . . it helps to have balance,” Cascades head coach Mike Gilray noted. “But our passing game wasn’t strong. They’re a great serving team. (Blues outside hitter) Alexis (Sebok) had a great service game, and really put us in trouble every time she went back.

“We’re a good passing team, and when we pass well, we can compete with anybody. But we missed our standards, and we have standards for a reason. We just weren’t able to get close to them tonight.”

Cascades middles Monique Huber and Mandelyn Erikson led the team in hitting percentage, and setter Reena Randhawa and middle/right side Keira Fisher had strong contributions off the bench in a double-sub rotation. But the Cascades’ passing struggles served to blunt their offence.

“I don’t want to take anything away from Cap – they played really well,” Gilray said. “But I would have liked to challenge them more.

“You can’t hit at nine per cent and expect to win many games in this league.”

The Cascades volleyball teams are back at home next weekend, hosting the Douglas Royals at the Student Activity Centre. Games run Friday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Saturday (women 5 p.m., men 7 p.m.). Friday is Alumni Night – former UFV students will receive free admission to the Cascades’ home volleyball and basketball games.

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