In a high-powered affair between two ranked CCAA opponents, the #6 Capilano University Blues men’s volleyball team came out on top with a straight-sets victory over the #14 University of the Fraser Valley Cascades on Thursday night in North Vancouver. The victory keeps Capilano atop the PACWEST at 16-3.
Each set went down to the wire, and the tone was set early on with neither team leading by more than a couple points in the opening set. The back-and-forth play saw UFV claw back at several moments to tie up the score, but Capilano always had an answer to regain a small lead. The Cascades called a timeout down 21-19, and then later staved off set point to trail 24-23, but service error serve gave the first set to the home team.
Fraser Valley got off to a hot start in the second frame, scoring the first four points and then forcing a CapU timeout at 7-2. The Blues chipped away and closed the gap to tie things up at 10, but UFV pushed back to cause another timeout ahead 16-14. Capilano took the next three points out of the huddle to force UFV into a timeout of their own, and from that point on the two sides traded points up until 23-23. That’s when the Blues pushed to take the next two points, with Jacob Hopkins delivering the set-winning kill.
A powerful Zarley Zalusky service run helped the Blues build up a 13-2 lead in the third set, but the Cascades slowly chipped away. Capilano called a timeout up 16-8 to regroup, but UFV continued to push and eventually tied the score at 20. A couple substitutions helped the home team stem the tide, and a strong team effort helped them come away with a 25-22 decision to secure the sweep.
Seven different players had at least two kills in the contest, with Sameh Khodr leading the way with 12. Zalusky collected eight to go along with two blocks and a career-high six aces, while Simon Friesen tallied 36 assists, six digs, and six kills on seven attempts.
The win improves Capilano to 16-3 and keeps them in first place in the PACWEST. The Cascades fall to 9-8. The two teams will rematch on Saturday in the last of their four meetings this season; first serve at the Sportsplex is at 8:00pm.