Blues knock off Cascades men’s volleyballers to open weekend series

Ben Friesen (right) was a standout for the Cascades on Friday vs. Capilano. (UFV Athletics file photo)

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team dropped a three-set decision to the Capilano Blues on Friday evening at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

The Cascades dug themselves a six-point hole to start the match before clawing their way back into it, but the visiting Blues ultimately prevailed 33-31 in an epic opening set. Capilano rode that momentum to 25-19 and 25-18 wins in the second and third.

The PACWEST-leading Blues boosted their record to a perfect 3-0, while the Cascades fell to 1-2. The two programs clash once again on Saturday (women 5 p.m., men 7 p.m.) at the Envision Athletic Centre, with the UFV men seeking a weekend split.

“I thought we battled in the first set really well,” Cascades head coach Kyle Donen said. “But unfortunately we weren’t able to keep it going in the next sets.”

The hosts found themselves quickly behind 8-2 in the first set, but left sides Ben Friesen and Matt Whittall led a Cascades comeback. Some UFV passing struggles allowed the Blues to re-expand the lead, but Nick Bruce went on a serving streak to spark another Cascade surge. Capilano, though, was able to close out the 33-31 win.

The Cascades held leads in both the second and third sets, with much of the offensive damage coming from Friesen and Whittall. However, UFV’s blockers were unable to do much to slow the Blues’ attack, allowing the visitors to pull away.

Friesen paced the offence with 10 kills, and middle Josh Fefchak chipped in with eight kills.

– by Raelyn O’Hara, Cascades student communications assistant

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