Mariners complete weekend sweep of Cascades

Keira Fisher and the Cascades dropped a three-set decision to VIU on Saturday. (Northfield Photography file photo)

The defending national champion VIU Mariners wrapped up a weekend sweep of the University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team on Saturday afternoon, prevailing in three sets.

The Cascades had their bright moments in a four-set defeat to the Mariners on Friday, but the visitors got off to a great start in Saturday’s rematch and rode that momentum, prevailing by scores of 25-11, 25-18 and 25-19.

Though the scores made it appear that Saturday’s performance was a step back for the Cascades, head coach Mike Gilray noted that his team’s serving and passing metrics actually improved vs. the night before.

“We had fewer aces, but we served almost 10 per cent higher efficiency than yesterday,” he noted. “The frustration for the girls was that they weren’t connecting well enough. . . . We’re going to look to keep getting better.

“We wanted to measure ourselves against a very good team, and we had some good runs against them at times. But that’s a very good volleyball team that has a lot of composure and structure to their game. The outcome wasn’t what we wanted today, but the girls would love to play them again right away, even though we won’t get to for a while. That’s awesome to see.”

Left sides Amanda Matsui and Kim Bauder paced the Cascades offensively – Matsui had eight kills with a 27 per cent hitting efficiency, while Bauder had seven kills at 23 per cent. Matsui also registered a solid 2.13 serve-receive rating, and added nine digs and an ace.

For the second straight day, Gilray was thrilled with the play of his bench. Middles Lauren Poirier and Alysha Cooper, right side Chelsea Kidd, libero Karissa Marazzi and setter Zoe Flowers all saw significant action. Flowers was UFV’s player of the game, and Marazzi’s seven digs were second-most on the team.

“I thought they played really free today and had fun,” Gilray said. “One of the great things about our team is, the girls who come out (of the game) are their biggest supporters. That’s only going to help us as the season goes on.”

The Cascades volleyball teams hit the road next weekend for their longest trip of the season. They head to Cranbrook to face the College of the Rockies Avalanche, Friday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Saturday (women 1 p.m., men 3 p.m.).

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