The UFV men’s volleyball team came into this past weekend’s games up against potentially their toughest challenge of the season to date. With a rough 1-11 record, they faced off against the Camosun Chargers, the four-time defending PACWEST champs in what proved to be a tough weekend score-wise, but a weekend the home team can learn from.
Friday’s game opened up with UFV playing well. Camosun called a timeout with the score reading 14-11 and although the set wasn’t perfect for the Cascades, they did just enough to stay a couple steps ahead of the Chargers. UFV would call a timeout with a 23-21 lead, which proved valuable for the Cascades as they wound up taking the set 25-22 — a big win for the hometown squad.
Interestingly, the second set began with a yellow card being issued to Camosun #9 Eduardo Bida while he was talking with an official. This didn’t bother the Chargers, who played excellently en route to a 2-7 lead over the Cascades when UFV decided to call a timeout. Camosun would find their serve from here on, performing well against the Cascades. After a UFV timeout with the score 6-13, Camosun rolled on to win the set 25-11.
The third set began with a strong push from UFV and excellent serving from #2 Landon Uy. They took it to the away team, with Camosun calling a timeout at the 5-1 score mark. From here, the Chargers found their stride and it was clear they were on the way to winning the set. UFV put up a good fight but dropped the third set to Camosun 25-21.
The fourth set featured a rough start for the Cascades, with Camosun opening 0-6 and UFV calling a timeout. But UFV began to turn it around, and at their next timeout the score read 13-17 — a large improvement. Camosun went on to play a great final set, taking the the match 3-1.
The next day the Cascades had their chance at revenge against the Chargers and, similar to the day prior, UFV started strong. They won the first set 25-20 and had some big leads, showing that they weren’t overly affected by their previous encounter with the championship Camosun team. The second set was close at times but ultimately Camosun used their experience and streak play to win the set 25-19.
The third set saw adversity for the Cascades, but #1 Shubdeep Wander provided a seemingly veteran contribution despite it being his first year with the team. UFV still struggled to overcome such a big lead from the experienced team, and lost the set 25-19. The Cascades were not done heading into the fourth set, as they opened up with a big lead of 16-10. In what might have been the story of the weekend, the Chargers continued their ways of never being bothered by deficits on the scoreboard and defeated the Cascades 25-22 in the set, and once again took the match 3-1.
Coach Kyle Donen found silver linings in the Cascades performance.
“Tonight was definitely a step forward,” Donen said post-game in an interview with Dan Kinvig, Communications Coordinator. “I think we played well enough to win, we just fell a little bit short at the end of the sets we had our chances in. Especially that last set — unfortunately we gave up too many runs towards the end and fell short.”
The Cascades will be back in action at home this weekend when they take on the College of the Rockies Avalanche in back-to-back games Saturday, Jan. 19 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 20 at 1:00 p.m.
Image: UFV Cascades/Flickr