Cascades’ win streak snapped, Chargers prevail in four sets

Joel Kleingeltink and the Cascades fell in four sets on the road to Camosun on Saturday. (UFV Athletics file photo)

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team saw its six-game win streak snapped by the Camosun Chargers on Saturday afternoon, as they dropped a four-set decision in Victoria.

The game’s turning point was in the second set. The Chargers had a 25-21 first-set triumph under their belts already, but the Cascades appeared poised to level the match, racing out to a quick 10-5 lead. They nursed that advantage deep into the set, up 21-19 at one juncture, only to watch Camosun claw back and win it 25-23.

UFV won the third 26-24 to extend the match, but were unable to come up with any more heroics in the fourth, falling 25-22.

“We win that second set, and it’s a different match,” Cascades head coach Kyle Donen noted. “We just didn’t finish. It was a tough one to drop, and then we were in a big hole.

“Overall, not a great match for us tonight. We’ve got things to work on this week.”

The Cascades, ranked No. 8 in the nation, fell to 14-4 in PACWEST play, but they’ve still got a comfortable lead on third-place Camosun (10-6) in the race for second place in the conference and the first-round playoff bye that comes with it.

“I’d say it was similar to yesterday (a five-set UFV win), other than the fact that we gave them more opportunities tonight and they executed,” Donen said. “Even though we didn’t play that well, I still thought we had our chances to win. But we did get a split this weekend in a gym that’s tough to win in, so we’ll focus on the games that are coming up, that we have control over.”

The Cascades had good balance offensively – left sides Matt Whittall (13 kills) and Ben Friesen (12 kills) led the way, with right sides Joel Kleingeltink (10 kills) and middles Connor Pruim and Dayton Pagliericci (eight kills apiece) also chipping in. Pruim added four blocks, and libero Isaiah Dahl registered 13 digs.

Up next for the UFV volleyball teams is a homecourt weekend (Jan. 27-28) against the first-place Vancouver Island University Mariners. Games run Friday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Saturday (women 1 p.m., men 3 p.m.) in the North Gym at the Envision Athletic Centre.

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