The Capilano University Blues men’s volleyball team finished off their home season on a winning note with a 3-1 win over the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades on Saturday night, and in the process clinched a first round bye in the postseason.
The first set was a back-and-forth affair with neither team leading by more than a point – up until UFV went ahead 23-21 to force a Capilano timeout. After the Cascades took the next point, the Blues staved off set point and won the next two to force a UFV timeout at 24-23. The visiting side regrouped out of the huddle, and won the next point to take the opening frame.
The second set remained close as well, and Capilano was forced into another early timeout when down 11-9. The high-powered serves of Zarley Zalusky and Sameh Khodr then helped the Blues get back on track, as they disrupted UFV’s offensive rhythm and allowed Capilano to build up a six-point lead and force a pair of timeouts. CapU didn’t let up, and took the frame 25-17 to even up the match.
Capilano got off to a better start in the third, and built up an early lead. Simon Friesen hammered a pair of kills from the setter position to force a UFV timeout at 15-8, and they soon called another one after CapU won the next three points out of it. The Blues continued to roll and won the set 25-13.
The close play returned in the fourth set, as things sat tied at 18 until Zalusky stepped up to serve and helped power Capilano to six-straight points to bring up match point. UFV stayed alive by taking the next point, but the Blues answered back to close out a 25-19 decision and take the match 3-1.
Three Blues reached double-figures in kills, as Khodr recorded 11 and Justin Yee and Mattias Wels-Lopez both tallied 10. The middles of Wels-Lopez and Zalusky had a dominant game, racking up 17 combined kills against just two errors, and each tallying two blocks. Zalusky also had five aces on the night to give him 11 across the seven sets on the weekend.
The Blues improve to 17-3 with the win and secure a top-two spot in the PACWEST – guaranteeing them a first-round bye at the PACWEST Championships. Capilano has four road games left in the regular season: two against Camosun College on February 9 and 10, and two against Douglas College on February 16 and 17. The PACWEST Championships are February 25-27 at UFV in Abbotsford.