Cascades find their form, pick up four-set win over Avalanche

Kara Williams and Hanna Hieltjes go up for a block on Saturday vs. COTR.

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team got back on the winning track with a four-set triumph over the College of the Rockies Avalanche on Saturday afternoon at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

The CCAA No. 7-ranked Cascades, coming off a pair of losses last weekend to the No. 3 Douglas Royals, came out on top 25-23 in a closely contested first set. COTR took the second 25-20 to square the match, but UFV bounced back to win the next two by 25-22 and 25-10 scores.

The Cascades are now 6-3 in PACWEST play while leaving the Avalanche at 4-7. The two programs will face off again Sunday at Abbotsford Senior Secondary (women 11 a.m., men 1 p.m.).

Chelsea Kidd sparked the Cascades off the bench.

“We were very tight,” Cascades head coach Mike Gilray said. “We’ve got a game plan that we know we want to do but weren’t doing, and usually when that happens it’s because we’re not relaxed.

“We weren’t putting the ball where we wanted to put it and it lost us some points, but we had some changes going into the third including Chelsea Kidd being subbed in. She had a calm nature and a great swing, with 10 digs which really helped us. We struggled to pass, but they (COTR) made more errors, and we came out on top.”

Neither team could gain much separation in the first set. The Cascades’ Amanda Matsui reeled off a four-point serving streak to give her team a 20-18 lead, and fellow left side Kim Bauder had a kill and an ace in the late stages to deliver the 25-23 win.

The second set started with a similar momentum for UFV, but a few missed passes let the Avalanche jump ahead 12-8, and the visitors were able to finish off the set from there.

Kidd, Bauder and middle Hanna Hieltjes were among the offensive contributors as the Cascades built a six-point edge en route to victory in the third. Bauder served UFV to a quick 7-3 lead in the fourth, and Hieltjes followed with a service run of her own to stretch it to 14-4. Rookie right side Alexis Edwards had some solid offensive contributions in the fourth, while on the other side of the net, the Avalanche struggled with errors.

Bauder led the offence with nine kills, and right side Cassidy Pearson posted eight kills without an error. Setter Kara Williams had three blocks, and Matsui racked up five aces.

– by Raelyn O’Hara, Cascades student communications assistant

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