Cascades grind out five-set victory over Royals

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team opened the second semester with a big road win, outlasting the Douglas Royals in a five-set thriller on Friday evening.

Joel Kleingeltink accounted for 19 points in Friday’s road win. (Tree Frog Imaging file photo)

In the earlier game on Friday, the Cascades women had dropped a five-set decision to their Douglas counterparts, including a two-point defeat in the final frame. The men’s game was a carbon copy, but this time it was the UFV squad that came out on top (21-25, 25-17, 25-17, 18-25, 16-14). Middle Connor Pruim and setter Adam Frederickson combined on a block to close out the match.

“It was like the girls game – a bit of a roller-coaster,” Cascades head coach Kyle Donen said with a wry chuckle. “We came out playing well, and just didn’t finish well in the first set. Then we came out flying in the second and held onto the lead, and did the same in the third to win those two sets relatively easily. We just fell a little short of finishing in the fourth, and the fifth set, we didn’t get off to a great start.

“A couple of big plays at the end of the match, and we came out on top. It could have gone either way at the end.”

Ben Friesen racked up a team-high 18 kills for the Cascades, while Joel Kleingeltink accounted for 19 points (13 kills, six blocks, one ace). Nick Bruce pounded six aces, Prium registered six blocks, and libero Isaiah Dahl was “a defensive workhorse” in his coach’s estimation, with 23 digs.

“We had multiple guys contributing tonight at different times,” Donen enthused. “The things that stood out for me tonight were, we came up big at the net when it mattered, and we served really tough early in the match.”

The Cascades (10-3) and Royals (5-8) lock horns again on Saturday at 7 p.m. in New Westminster.

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