The UFV Cascades had their work cut out for them this weekend when they took on the Camosun Chargers in a pair of thrilling duels. UFV came into the weekend on a four-game win streak ranked No. 8, sporting a solid 8-4 record, while Camosun came in ranked No. 12 with a competitive 8-6 record. The two teams traded wins and losses in very different games, but nevertheless provided an action-packed weekend of volleyball for those in attendance at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.
Friday’s game ended as close as can be, but it opened with UFV in the driver’s seat. Camosun called a timeout with the score reading 15-8 for the Cascades, but the Chargers streaked back repeatedly, making the first set a tight one. Camosun came all the way back to be down by only one point (21-20) but UFV showed composure from then onward, winning the first set 25-21.
The second set saw a complete reversal in terms of momentum, as Camosun came out strong, taking the lead early. They would be forced to call a timeout after UFV came back and took the lead by a score of 17-15, but the Chargers’ adjustments continued to pay off as they went on to win the second set 25-21.
The third set was so contested that neither team called a timeout! Camosun largely had the lead in the third, but the Cascades would come up clutch in the end, winning the set by two points with a score of 25-23. The fourth set saw the Chargers completely take over early, going up 5-0 before the Cascades called timeout. UFV again called timeout with the score at 2-13, and surely at this point everyone thought this set would be a blowout. In stunning fashion, despite being down double digits, UFV came all the way back only to lose the set 22-25. Camosun held tight, denying the upset and sending the game to a fifth and decisive set.
The fifth set was a complete battle, with UFV calling a timeout at the 10-11 score mark for Camosun. The Chargers went up two more points, and the Cascades used their second timeout, but it wasn’t enough as the Camosun Chargers took the fifth set 15-12 and the game 3-2.
The game that followed was quite the opposite of UFV and Camosun’s previous encounter just one night prior. The Cascades righted the wrongs of their recent close loss and dominantly swept the Chargers in their second meeting. The first set went relatively uncontested, with the Cascades having a strong showing through the efforts of middle/right side #16 Keira Fisher and winning the set 25-14. The second set was almost as dominant a set in PacWest play as you’ll see, with UFV decimating Camosun 25-9.
The third set was absolutely a close one, as Camosun prepared to rally back for the upset win. At times the Chargers were able to bring the game close, but UFV used streaking success to separate themselves from their adversaries, winning the set 25-21.
Coach Mike Gilray reflected on the big win after losing the first game in such close fashion.
“That was a massive game for us, standings and playoff-wise, to make sure we keep pace with them,” Gilray said post-game in an interview with UFV communications coordinator Dan Kinvig. “It was a clutch performance, and it was one of our most consistent nights. We rarely let them go on any runs.”
The Cascades now sit at 9-5, enjoying a 0.643 win percentage and growing with every weekend of action leading up to their playoff run. The team will be right back at home next weekend for a matchup with the College of the Rockies Avalanche, with those games kicking off Saturday, Jan. 19 at 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 20. at 11:00 a.m.
Image: Image: UFV Cascades/Flickr