UFV Sports Thursday – Volleyball – Opening Night

Women’s Volleyball: Cascades open season with straight-sets win over Bearcats

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team opened the 2017-18 PACWEST regular season with a flourish, blitzing the Columbia Bible College Bearcats in three straight sets on Thursday evening at Columbia Place.

The Cascades got stronger as the match wore on, winning by scores of 25-22, 25-16 and 25-17.

Crosstown rivals UFV (1-0) and CBC (0-1) clash again on Friday at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre to complete the home-and-home set, with the women’s game set for 6 p.m. followed by the men at 8 p.m.

“Game days are the best days, because you’ve put all the work in and now you get to go out and play,” Cascades women’s volleyball head coach Mike Gilray said. “We’ve been communicating to the girls that we were excited about the work they’d put in (in the off-season and preseason), and now it was time to let it show.”

Playing in front of a vocal Bearcats home crowd, the Cascades had a handful of unforced errors in the first set, but pulled out the win behind some clutch blocks from sophomore middle Hanna Hieltjes in the latter stages.

A lengthy service run by Amanda Matsui sparked UFV in the second set, and right side Cassidy Pearson came up big offensively in the third to help the Cascades close out the match.

Matsui, a redshirt freshman making her Cascades debut after sitting out last season due to injury, racked up a team-high 10 kills. Pearson and Hieltjes had six kills apiece, and Hieltjes’s performance was particularly efficient, coming on just nine swings. Rookie setter Olivia Heinen posted 32 assists, an outstanding number in a three-set match.

“We upped our game at it went along, and that’s what any coach is looking for,” Gilray summarized.

Men’s Volleyball: Cascades cruise past Bearcats on opening night

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team launched its 2017-18 PACWEST campaign in dynamic fashion, defeating the Columbia Bible College Bearcats in three sets on Thursday.

Playing before a pro-Bearcats crowd at Columbia Place, the Cascades prevailed 25-18, 25-18, 25-23.

They’ll face another test from CBC on Friday when the scene shifts to the UFV campus. The back end of the home-and-home doubleheader features the Cascades and Bearcats women’s volleyball teams playing at 6 p.m., followed by the men’s game at 8 p.m. at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

“It means a lot to get the W to start the season off right,” UFV bench boss Kyle Donen said. “We know we can be better in certain parts of the game. I thought we had our shaky moments on the passing side of things, but we were able to rebound when needed. We didn’t give up many long runs when they were serving, and we had a good serving game ourselves for the most part.”

The first set was closely contested at the start, with both teams making their share of errors. Midway through the frame the Cascades took control, and they carried that momentum into the second set, winning both in decisive fashion.

In the third, the Bearcats built an 11-7 lead, but UFV rallied to knot the score 15-15. It was a back-and-forth affair from there, with the Cascades’ Cole Nutma tipping the balance in favour of his team, coming off the bench for a service run late in the set.

Senior left side Nick Bruce paced the UFV offence with seven kills and three aces, and setter Adam Frederickson chipped in with three blocks, two kills and an ace in addition to quarterbacking the offence. Sophomore middle Josh Fefchak made his first start as a Cascade, highlighting the performance with a pair of aces. Rookie left side Landon Uy made his PACWEST debut, coming off the bench to notch two kills.

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