CJ Pentland, CapU Sport Information Director
With a straight-sets victory on Saturday night, the Capilano University Blues men’s volleyball team completed a weekend sweep of the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades to improve to 15-5 on the season with four games remaining in the regular season.
Looking for a bit more consistency after a tough five-set win on Friday against a UFV team playing for its playoff life, CapU delivered a more balanced effort en route to set wins of 25-21, 25-23, and 25-19. But with playoffs around the corner, the team will head into the stretch run knowing that they’ll need to hit another level in order to peak at the right time.
"Given that we’re out three or four main guys [to injuries], it’s great to come away with two wins and to pull those off against a team that’s trying to keep their season alive … and give them credit, they never at any point rolled over and they made us earn it,” said head coach Dave Dooley. “That said, our squad is a little frustrated with our level of play – which is a good thing, we’re not looking to peak right now, we’re looking to peak in a couple weeks – and that frustration just shows that we’re not satisfied. And hopefully they can bring that into practice and motivate them to get better and improve.”
CapU built up early leads in each set, and held off late runs by UFV that kept the score close down the stretch. In the first frame it was a pair of kills by rookie outside hitter Markus Bratsberg that broke open a 21-21 tie and kick started a 4-0 run that closed out the set, and in the second it was again Bratsberg with kills that delivered Capilano’s final two points. The third set provided a more comfortable margin of victory, as a service ace by Simon Friesen on the final point secured the sweep.
Four players topped eight kills in the contest, with Bratsberg leading the way with 14. Jake Hagen tallied nine to go along with 13 digs, and Zarley Zalusky had eight kills and five blocks. Third-year libero Jonathan Lee once again was strong passing the ball, totaling 14 digs.
Next weekend the CCAA #10 ranked Blues have a home-and-home series against Columbia Bible College, another team fighting for a playoff berth. On Thursday, February 8 the two sides will square off in Abbotsford, and then on Saturday, February 10 the Blues will host the Bearcats, with first serve at 7:00pm at the Centre for Sport and Wellness in North Vancouver.