Cascades settle for split with Mariners


Less than 24 hours after an emotional five-set triumph over the Vancouver Island University Mariners, the University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team wasn’t quite as sharp in the rematch.

The Mariners salvaged a weekend split, winning in four sets (25-20, 25-9, 22-25, 25-21) on Saturday at the Student Activity Centre North Gym.

“Where we did a good job yesterday of having fast starts (to sets) and putting them on their heels, tonight we were playing from behind it seemed like the whole time,” Cascades head coach Dennis Bokenfohr noted. “It’s pretty hard to get results if you’re always chasing.

“I thought we made some really good strides yesterday in learning through adversity. Today, we get to learn through our lack of preparation and about what it means – the level you have to be at to have success.”

After falling behind two sets to none, the Cascades dug deep to win the third set behind some strong play from middle Emily Carroll, who finished with a team-high 11 total points. But the Mariners managed to fend them off in the fourth.

Libero Amy Davidson, with 15 digs, also turned in a good performance for the Cascades, who saw their record dip to 10-8, good for third in the PacWest conference. VIU (9-7) sits fourth.

Both teams hold down spots in the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) national rankings – the Cascades are No. 9 and the Mariners are No. 13 – and the two programs have shared a terrific rivalry in recent years.

“It’s big, and you can tell . . . it’s a little more exciting when you get those blocks and those big kills on each other,” said UFV middle Kierra Noot. “It’s a lot of fun.

“VIU has always been a really good team, so it feels good to win one, but it would have been nice to have both. It’s something to improve on for next time we see them.”

The Cascades volleyball teams have a bye week coming up, and return to PacWest action Feb. 6-7 at the College of the Rockies Avalanche.

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