No. 2-ranked Royals bounce back, earn weekend split with Cascades

Cassidy Pearson notched a pair of aces in Saturday’s road loss to Douglas. (UFV Athletics file photo)

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team was unable to follow its most impressive triumph of the season with a second straight win over the nation’s No. 2-ranked team, as the Douglas Royals prevailed in three sets on Saturday.

The CCAA No. 7-ranked Cascades had knocked off Douglas in four sets in New Westminster on Friday, but the host Royals bounced back to salvage the weekend split (25-17, 25-17, 25-22). Douglas improved to 11-3, while the Cascades are 8-6.

“Oddly enough, we didn’t stick to what we were doing well yesterday,” UFV head coach Mike Gilray analyzed. “We didn’t play the ball to areas of the court where we could put them in trouble. We hit it to their libero a lot.”

In the first set, the two teams were tied 16-16, but the Royals went on a huge run to win in decisive fashion. They rode that momentum to victory in the second by a matching 25-17 score. The Cascades started brightly in the third, taking an early 7-4 advantage behind a three-point service run from Kim Bauder. They carried the lead into the middle stages of the set, but back-to-back attacking errors gave the lead back to Douglas at 14-13. The hosts kept the Cascades at bay from there, ultimately prevailing 25-22.

Gilray noted that his team had a strong blocking performance, but let themselves down at the service line.

“If you told me at the start of the night that we’d have 11 block points against their outsides, I would have thought it would be the difference-maker,” he said. “But offensively, we did not continue to put the ball to the areas of the court that we needed to. We could have made it more difficult on them.”

Amanda Matsui registered eight kills and 18 digs, leading the Cascades in both categories. Cassidy King (13) and Kim Bauder (12) also posted double-digit digs, and setter Olivia Heinen racked up five blocks. Cassidy Pearson was a bright spot on an otherwise subpar serving night for the team, notching two aces off the bench.

The Cascades volleyball teams are back on the road next weekend, as they head to Victoria for a Friday-Saturday set vs. the Camosun Chargers.

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