It wasn’t the clinical performance that University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball coach Kyle Donen had been hoping for, but the Cascades saved their best for last in a three-set victory over the Capilano Blues on Friday.
The Cascades were inconsistent throughout the first two sets at the Envision Athletic Centre, but nevertheless managed to play their best points in the late going and prevailed by scores of 25-23 and 25-21. The third set was more to Donen’s liking, as the hosts closed out the match 25-19.
The Cascades (12-3, second in PACWEST) and Blues (6-9, tied for fourth) wrap up the weekend home-and-home series on Saturday in North Vancouver (8 p.m. start, webcast at pacwestbc.tv).
“I thought we started every set really well, and I liked the way we finished the last one, but the ones before I thought we could have been stronger,” analyzed Donen, whose team is ranked No. 8 in the nation. “Overall, I think we did some good things . . . but we had our ups and downs, and I just think we could have been a little more consistent.
“Our serving was a little off tonight, and I think that threw us for a loop. We missed some serves in situations where we’re not used to missing, and I think that gave them a little life – and they had a couple guys who bombed on some serves and went on some runs. They pushed us a little bit, but we were able to execute well enough to finish sets off, and that’s what we did well.”
Left sides Nick Bruce and Ben Friesen spearheaded the Cascades’ offence with seven and six kills, respectively. Right side Joel Kleingeltink hammered three aces to go with his five kills, while Friesen and Connor Pruim tied for team-high honours with three blocks apiece. Donen was also pleased with the play of setter Dan Tang and left side Matt Whittall off the bench – they came in late in a couple of sets to give UFV a different look, and succeeded in swinging the momentum to the Cascades.