The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team got contributions from the entire lineup in Thursday’s three-set triumph over the Columbia Bible College Bearcats.
Playing at Columbia Place, the Cascades prevailed by scores of 25-19, 25-16 and 25-23, and head coach Kyle Donen got his five rookies – middles Connor Pruim and Cole Nutma, outside hitter Ben Friesen, libero Evan Bell-Foley and setter Dan Tang – onto the court for extended appearances.
The Cascades (13-10) and Bearcats (2-21) wrap up their PacWest regular-season schedules on Friday at the Envision Athletic Centre on the UFV Abbotsford campus. The women’s volleyball teams play at 6 p.m., followed by the men at 8 p.m. Fifth-year players Connor Nickel, Robert Bauerfind and Adam Chaplin of the men’s team and Nicole Blandford of the women’s team will be honoured in Senior Night ceremonies between games.
“As a collective group, it was good,” Donen said in the aftermath of Thursday’s win. “We got some of the young guys off the bench tonight, and they all did a really good job. I thought Connor Pruim was a standout.
“I felt we did the job we needed to, and were stuck together and were composed as a group. That’s something we talked about wanting to do, and getting comfortable in that environment. I feel better about going into provincials having played that way in that gym.”
Donen was alluding to the fact that Columbia Place will be the host site for the PacWest championship. The tournament runs next week (Feb. 25-27).
“I’d say we had a bit of a slow start in the first set tonight, but after that we found our groove,” Donen said. “We had some serving runs that gave us leads, and we never really gave them up, which was good to see from our side.”