Cascades bounce back for three-set win over Avalanche

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team returned to form offensively to claim a weekend split on the road against the College of the Rockies Avalanche on Saturday.

Olivia Heinen had an outstanding performance for the Cascades on Saturday in Cranbrook.

The CCAA No. 7-ranked Cascades, coming off a four-set defeat on Friday in Cranbrook, got a much more efficient offensive performance in the rematch, winning by scores of 25-21, 25-15 and 25-23. They boosted their record to 13-9, tied for third in the PACWEST with the Capilano Blues, while sixth-place COTR fell to 7-17.

“I feel like we continued how we played in the third and fourth set yesterday,” UFV head coach Mike Gilray said, alluding to his team’s slow start in Friday’s opener. “Today, when we got our looks, we did a good job of hitting the ball off the block, whereas yesterday we hit it right at defenders.”

Gilray lauded the play of rookie setter Olivia Heinen, who had the Cascades firing on all cylinders. She set the table for left sides Kim Bauder (15 kills) and Amanda Matsui (11 kills) to rack up double-figure kills. Middle Hanna Hieltjes also had a strong showing with nine kills, and was voted player of the game by her teammates.

“Our transition offence was able to be successful because we put pressure on them in serve-receive, and we did a really good job of connecting offensively today,” Gilray said.

The Cascades volleyball teams return to Abbotsford for a home-and-home set with their crosstown rivals, the Columbia Bible College Bearcats. The series opens Friday at UFV’s Envision Financial Athletic Centre (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.), and the scene shifts to Columbia Place Saturday (women 5 p.m., men 7 p.m.).

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The University of the Fraser Valley is situated on the unceded traditional territory of the Stó:lō peoples. The Stó:lō have an intrinsic relationship with what they refer to as S’olh Temexw (Our Sacred Land); therefore, we express our gratitude and respect for the honour of living and working in this territory.

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