The No. 1-ranked Vancouver Island University Mariners wrapped up a weekend sweep of the University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team, prevailing in four sets on Saturday afternoon at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.
The Mariners claimed the first set 25-19, but UFV bounced back to take the second 26-24. The Mariners, though, righted themselves and took the next two sets by 25-14 and 25-19 scores.
“We were better today,” said Cascades head coach Kyle Donen, whose team fell in three sets on Friday to the Mariners. “We knew this weekend wasn’t going to be an easy one, but we had our chances.
“We might’ve been able to bring it to a fifth set, but overall I thought everyone who was in there did well for us.”
The Cascades got off to a rough start in the first set – they had a series of service errors, and struggled to penetrate the Mariners’ block. But left side Nick Bruce, middle Josh Fefchak and setter Adam Frederickson formed a strong three-man block to get the hosts out of the rut. Cascades captain Ben Friesen got a pair of kills followed by Bruce with three to cut the deficit to 19-15, but VIU fended them off to take the opening set.
Friesen and Matt Whittall came out swinging in the second set, putting UFV ahead 8-3. Rallies were brief with back-and-forth kills, but the Cascades managed to maintain the lead at 15-12. The Mariners surged ahead 21-19, but the Cascades regrouped and came back swinging to steal the set 26-24.
VIU took the third set in decisive fashion, with Bruce exiting due to injury late in the frame. The Cascades brought rookies Justin Peleshytyk, Lucas Mantel and Ian Jagersma off the bench in the fourth set alongside veterans Frederickson and Dayton Pagliericci. Mantel and Peleshytyk had some kills and timely saves, but the Mariners led throughout and closed out the match.
Frederickson excelled for the Cascades with 32 assists, two aces and 11 digs. Leading the team in kills was Pagliericci with 10 kills and only one error, and Whittall and Friesen had nine kills apiece.
The UFV volleyball teams are on the road next week, facing the College of the Rockies Avalanche in a Friday-Saturday series in Cranbrook.
– by Raelyn O’Hara, Cascades communications assistant