UFV Sports Thursday – Volleyball

Women’s Volleyball: Bearcats claw out comeback win over Cascades

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team dropped the first game of a home-and-home series with the Columbia Bible College Bearcats, falling in four sets on Thursday evening at Columbia Place.

The Cascades won the first set 25-20 and had significant leads in both the second and fourth sets, but the host Bearcats clawed their way back to earn victories in each of the next three by the minimum two-point margin – 30-28, 25-23 and 28-26.

The two teams renew hostilities on Friday evening at UFV’s home gym, the Envision Athletic Centre, at 6 p.m., followed by the men’s game at 8 p.m.

“We had a three- or four-point gap in all the games at the end, but just no closing,” Cascades head coach Mike Gilray said afterward. “For us, it’s our errors. We’re beating up on ourselves.”

UFV middle Monique Huber and left side Rachel Funk tied for team-high honours with seven kills apiece, while Huber and Keira Fisher each fired three aces. Kim Bauder chipped in with 13 digs.

Gilray noted that Fisher had a particularly strong service game and that setter Jessica Funk had an excellent outing. But according to his post-game stats, the Cascades registered 61 errors on the night.

“We’re not thinking well – we’re not making good choices, we’re making bad hitting errors,” he said. “I thought Jessica Funk had an excellent game for the level of our passing – I thought she gave our hitters good opportunities, and our hitters struggled to find the timing. We are trying to go faster this year, but we’re not connecting. We’ve got to figure out why.”

Men’s Volleyball: Cascades earn straight-sets win over Bearcats

Following last Saturday’s four-set victory over the Capilano Blues to open the PACWEST regular season, University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball coach Kyle Donen bemoaned his team’s struggles to close out sets efficiently.

The Cascades (2-0) rectified that situation on Thursday, defeating the Columbia Bible College Bearcats in three straight sets (25-19, 25-19, 25-18) at Columbia Place, demonstrating a finishing instinct that Donen felt they had lacked against the Blues.

The two programs lock horns again on Friday, this time at UFV’s Envision Athletic Centre (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.).

“I liked that we improved on what we needed to,” Donen said afterward. “Last week we struggled to close out sets, but it was different tonight. All three sets, we pretty much got it done on the first (set) point, except the last one. I was impressed with how we rebounded that way from last week, and how we performed in an environment like that. It was a fun crowd to play in front of.”

Fifth-year right side Joel Kleingeltink led a balanced UFV attack with eight kills, and left side Nick Bruce had a sparkling all-around performance, particularly at the service line and on defence.

Donen said his squad is looking forward to the rematch at home.

“I’m hoping for a good-sized crowd again like we had against Cap,” he said. “We’re excited to bring the rivalry back to our gym, especially after a win.”

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