Cascades edge Chargers in five-set thriller

Nick Bruce (centre) once again paced the Cascades offensively. (UFV Athletics file photo)

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team wrung every last drop of drama out of Friday night’s road clash with the Camosun Chargers, ultimately prevailing in five sets.

Each of the three sets won by the Cascades came by the minimum two points, highlighted by an 18-16 victory in the fifth and deciding set. In the end, it was UFV (9-6) tightening its grip on third place in the PACWEST, while the fourth-place Chargers fell to 5-8.

The two teams wrap up the weekend set Saturday afternoon (3 p.m., pacwestbc.tv).

“I think the best way to describe it is, we found ways to bounce back when we needed it,” Cascades head coach Kyle Donen said. “It’s a huge win for us to be able to find a way to grind out another win on the road.”

The Chargers came out on fire in the first set, taking it in decisive fashion (25-18), and they had the Cascades on the ropes in the second, leading 24-21. But the UFV squad fended off three set points and rallied for a 28-26 win. They built on that in the third, taking it 25-23, but Camosun dominated the fourth 25-15 to extend the match.

In the fifth, the Chargers were on the brink of victory, leading 14-12. But the Cascades staved off two match points thanks to a Camosun net violation followed by a hitting error, and they scored four of the next six points to seal the win.

Reigning PACWEST men’s volleyball player of the week Nick Bruce racked up a team-best 19 kills and three blocks, and fellow left side Ben Friesen (13 kills) and middle Dayton Pagliericci (nine kills) also chipped in offensively. Setter Adam Frederickson had 43 set assists to go with four kills and two blocks, and middle Josh Fefchak registered a team-high four blocks.

“I don’t think we had the greatest start to the match, but we found our groove,” Donen said. “To steal that second set gave us momentum in the third. We were not good in the fourth set, but I thought we responded well in the fifth. They were ahead and in control for most of that fifth set, but we earned some big points and we found an advantage.”

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