The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team won the opening set in epic fashion, but the Douglas Royals battled back to win the next three and claim a weekend sweep at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.
In a match-up of top-10 nationally ranked teams, the No. 3 Royals had drawn first blood, knocking off the No. 7 Cascades in four sets on Friday.
UFV regrouped for the rematch, winning a thrilling first set 32-30. Both teams staved off multiple set points, with Cascades libero Cassidy King giving her team a lift with a highlight-reel dig on a Douglas set point. UFV eventually ended matters with three straight points – a block and an ace from middle Teagan Johnstone, and a huge kill from left side Kim Bauder.
The Cascades were unable to ride that momentum, though. The Royals were in the driver’s seat for the balance of the match, taking the next three sets by scores of 25-18, 25-23 and 25-16. They improved to 8-1, dropping UFV to 5-3.
“Tonight, we started out really strong and we battled with that team,” Cascades assistant coach David Dooley said. “We faced extreme adversity in that first set – we faced a few set points, and a couple of really tough errors that we made that could have totally taken the wind out of our sails. But we persevered.
“And then, to me, we lost a little bit of our touch on the ball. I don’t know what it was, but the errors really started creeping into our game. When you’re giving your opponent 12 points a set, it’s really hard to win.”
Bauder and fellow left side Cassidy Pearson tied for team-high honours with 14 kills apiece, and Bauder posted a sparkling 2.31 rating on serve receive. King accounted for 27 of UFV’s 79 total digs.
The Cascades are back in action at home next weekend, hosting the College of the Rockies Avalanche on Saturday and Sunday.
“I think for us, we learn more from our losses than our wins,” Bauder said. “I think this was a good weekend for us to learn a lot about ourselves. We had some adversity with injuries, and we had a bunch of different players playing different roles and different positions. I think we can go from here and build on some of the good things that we did.”