The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team closed the book on the regular season with a five-set road loss to the Columbia Bible College Bearcats.
The match was distinguished by sharp momentum swings – neither team won two sets in a row, and none of the sets was particularly close save for the fifth. But even that one was a microcosm of the match as a whole. The Cascades dominated the first half, leading 8-4 following a Kim Bauder service run, but the Bearcats answered with a 9-1 run of their own behind the serving of Jodi Enns and clinched the victory.
Set scores were 25-17, 16-25, 25-15, 16-25, 15-12.
Both teams have qualified for the PACWEST conference championships, which will be held at UFV’s Envision Financial Athletic Centre next week, and Saturday’s result did not impact either team’s seeding. The host Cascades (13-11) will be seeded No. 3, and they’ll face the No. 6 College of the Rockies Avalanche (7-17) in the quarter-finals at 6 p.m. next Thursday. The No. 5 Bearcats (11-13) will take on the No. 4 Capilano Blues (13-11) at 1 p.m. Thursday.
Reflecting on Saturday’s result, Cascades head coach Mike Gilray noted that consistency proved elusive for his group.
“It was funny – one side of the court won every set by a substantial amount,” he said with a chuckle, noting that the team on the side furthest from the main entrance doors at Columbia Place prevailed in each set. “I don’t think either coach is going to be happy with the consistency of their team. There were spots of brilliance from both sides, but I think both coaches would rather see consistency. For us, the negative was not having everybody going at the same time.
“We just couldn’t get all parts of the game rolling at once. It’s frustrating, for sure, but a good learning opportunity going into next week. There’s always more to learn from a loss, and in the playoffs, you expect those five-setters.”
Left sides Kim Bauder (12 kills) and Amanda Matsui (11 kills) were the Cascades’ highest-volume offensive contributors, and middle Keira Fisher had an efficient night with eight kills on 38 per cent hitting. Olivia Heinen had 44 set assists, and joined Bauder and Cassidy King in posting double-digit digs. Kara Williams made a strong contribution off the bench, coming in at right side and giving UFV a boost defensively.