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Blues earn weekend split on the Island

Photo Northfield Photography
Photo Northfield Photography

After a loss in Friday’s series opener, the CapU men’s volleyball team responded with a 3-2 win on Saturday afternoon to earn a weekend split on the road in Nanaimo against the Vancouver Island University Mariners.

The Blues, ranked #7 in the final CCAA rankings of 2018, struggled to get much going on Friday, as VIU took control from the get-go with a 25-16 win in the opening frame and didn’t look back in a straight-sets victory. CapU attacked at a .047 rate in the contest compared to a .406 hitting percentage for the Mariners, with no player recording more than three kills.

CapU found their stride in Saturday’s rematch, staving off a late push from VIU in the first to take the lead with a 27-25 decision. They continued their strong play in the second frame, pulling ahead at 8-8 and rolling to a 25-17 set win on a Markiel Simpson kill.

The home side didn’t go away quietly, winning the first four points of the third set en route to a 25-19 win that extended the match. They continued their momentum into the fourth with a 25-14 victory that forced a fifth set.

The final frame went back-and-forth, with CapU ahead 6-3 before VIU stormed back with the next five points to go ahead by two. With the score then tied at 12, the Blues claimed the next three points for the win – with Justin Yee recording the final two points on a block and kill.

Yee led the Blues on both sides of the ball, recording the game-high total for kills and digs with 13 and 17, respectively. Jonathan Lee tallied 14 digs and made several acrobatic plays on defensive, Markus Bratsberg added 12 kills and five digs, and setter Simon Friesen had 39 assists to go along with seven digs and three service aces.

The split moves the Blues to 10-4 on the season and third place in the PACWEST. Now heading into a bye week, CapU will be back in action on their home court on January 18 and 19 for a crucial two-game series against 10-4 Camosun College.