In the aftermath of Friday’s four-set loss to the Camosun Chargers, University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball head coach Mike Gilray bemoaned his team’s lack of offensive balance.
One night, the Cascades’ middles might be hot, but the outside hitters wouldn’t be able to get anything going. The next night the outside hitters would figure it out, but the middles would struggle.
On Saturday at the Envision Athletic Centre North Gym, the Cascades finally put it all together. Four players – Rachel Funk, Kim Bauder, Monique Huber and Mandelyn Erikson – registered double-digit kills, and setter Jessica Funk handed out 54 assists in a four-set victory over Camosun (25-22, 25-21, 20-25, 25-15).
UFV improved to 2-5, moving up from seventh place to fifth in the PACWEST in the process, while Camosun fell to 4-4. The Chargers have split all four of their weekend series to date this season.
“An all-around good game for us today,” Gilray enthused afterward. “It was exciting to see.
“It wasn’t that everything went smooth – our players just had a really good energy. They said yesterday even in the loss, that was the best they’ve connected on the floor, and walking into the change room pregame today there was a real positive energy. They kept it going on the court.”
The Cascades’ lone stumble of the night came in the third set, when they surrendered an 8-1 run that enabled the Chargers to surge ahead 20-14. Otherwise, the hosts were firmly in control, and they punctuated the victory with a decisive fourth-set performance.
Rachel Funk paced the offence with 16 kills on 38 per cent hitting, but she had plenty of support – Bauder hammered 12 kills of her own, and middles Huber and Erikson had 10 apiece.
The defence was also exemplary – libero Amy Davidson racked up 19 digs, and Bauder (17 digs) and Rachel Funk (nine digs) also performed well in that department.
“We just put them in trouble – we forced them to have to win points,” Gilray analyzed. “And with that, we have a tough offence. I thought we battled some adversity – there were some tough calls and some bad luck with some net rolls, but I thought they responded great after the third game.”
The Cascades volleyball teams are back in action at home next weekend, taking on the Douglas Royals on Friday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Saturday (women 5 p.m., men 7 p.m.).