CJ Pentland, CapU Sport Information Director
The Capilano University Blues men’s volleyball persevered in five sets on Friday night in North Vancouver, staving off a late comeback by the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades for a 3-2 win.
The CCAA #10 ranked Blues were slow out of the gate, and the Cascades took advantage with a 25-23 win to grab the early lead. The home side quickly flipped the switch in the following set, building up an early lead and rolling to a 25-15 decision to even up the match.
The strong play continued over to the third, as CapU won the first four points and continued to extend their lead throughout the set before closing out a 25-18 win. Yet despite leading for much of the fourth set, the Blues couldn’t put away the Cascades – who rallied to tie the score at 23 and then win the next two points to force a fifth and final set.
CapU settled down out of the huddle, going up 5-1 and leading 8-3 at the switch. UFV made a push and cut the lead to two at 8-6, but the Blues held firm – not allowing them any closer and eventually clinching a 15-11 win on a block by Markus Bratsberg.
Playing without three regular starters, the Blues received solid contributions from across the board – with four players topping double-digits for kills. First-year outside hitter Nikita Marchenkov stepped up and had 16 kills on a .400 hitting percentage, and Jake Hagen had a season-high 15 kills. On defence, Jonathan Lee tallied a game-high 15 digs while Simon Friesen added 10 to go along with 60 assists, four aces, and six kills.
The win improves CapU to 14-5 on the season and puts them two points back of second-place Camosun in the PACWEST standings with a game in hand. The Blues and Cascades will rematch tomorrow night in North Vancouver for the fourth and final time this season, with first serve at 7:00pm at the Centre for Sport and Wellness.