In a match that went right down to the wire, and then beyond it, the Capilano University Blues men’s volleyball team took down the Columbia Bible College Bearcats in five sets on Friday night in North Vancouver.
The Bearcats stormed out of the gate and took command from the get-go, going up 9-3 to force a quick timeout and eventually cruising to a 25-13 decision in the opening set.
CapU responded in the second frame, as the Blues battled tough in a back-and-forth set to pull away down the stretch and come away with a 25-19 victory to even up the match.
The third set featured more high-powered action, with both sides playing well at the net and showcasing strong overall defense. The Blues were again able to open up a lead and forced a CBC timeout at 17-12, but carried on to secure a 25-18 win to go up by a set.
The Bearcats didn’t go away quietly, as they ramped up their pressure to take the fourth set 25-22. The Blues made a late rally down 23-17 when TheAhn Pham came on to serve and helped cut the lead to three, but CBC regrouped out of a late timeout and were able to extend the match.
In an evenly-matched affair, it was only fitting that the fifth and final set – which is up to 15, win by two – went the distance and beyond. After Capilano scored two-straight points to even the score at 10, neither team led by more than a point up until 28-26. Down 26-25, the Blues rallied for three straight points – with Zarley Zalusky delivering an ace to make it 27-26, and then Mattias Wels-Lopez coming up with a block to deliver the game’s final point.
Zarley Zalusky, Justin Yee, and Sameh Khodr all tallied 11 kills on the night, with Khodr's coming on a 0.467 hitting percentage. Zalusky added three aces and two blocks, while Wels-Lopez also had a strong game at middle with three blocks and five kills.
The win moves Capilano to 12-2 on the season and keeps them atop the PACWEST standings through seven weeks of play. The Blues are back in action next weekend when they travel to Cranbrook to take on College of the Rockies on January 12 and 13; they’ll be back home on January 19 and 20 when Capilano hosts Vancouver Island University.