Brent Mutis, Sports Information & Compliance Officer
CAP U CENTRE FOR SPORT AND WELLNESS - Supported by a raucous Friday night home crowd, the Capilano University men's volleyball team posted an impressive straight-sets win over the visiting Douglas College Royals.
(Set scores were 28-26, 25-21 and 25-16).
The Blues fed off the energy from the fans and seemed to get sharper as the night went on. It's hard to imagine a more positive start.
"We had a great crowd tonight, just packed stands; the most fans I've ever seen here," said Blues head coach Dave Dooley.
Capilano showed grit from the get-go as they were down 22-24 in the first set but refused to quit and ultimately imposed their will, taking it 28-26. They widened the margin with each of the following sets.
"We were up against a really good team and a team that's experienced with one another," said Dooley. "That's pretty much the exact same starting lineup that we saw throughout the majority of last year and provincials so they inherently will have that chemistry that we are still developing and it was nice to see us start to find our groove through the course of the match."
Making his Blues debut, Rafa Hilario was at times explosive and pummeled a few attacks straight through the Douglas defence but Dooley says even better days are ahead for the Brazilian.
"Rafa didn't have his best attacking game but he's still developing his identity here with the team so if that's his worst game then we're looking pretty good."
Also making his Capilano debut was Ben Friesen. Working alongside twin brother Simon, Ben lived up to his reputation as a fifth-year transfer from University of the Fraser Valley. He led the Blues in kills on the night.
Dooley was also able to make use of the depth on his roster, getting contributions from redshirt freshman Adam Kartusch who reeled off a couple of service aces and former Royal Malachi McMullin who ended the match with a screaming serve Douglas wasn't able to handle.
"We're 16 men strong and that's why our training sessions are so competitive and why I think we're going to be a good team," said Dooley. "For Adam Kartusch to come in and get that ace, he went to high school five minutes from here (Argyle Secondary) and for Malachi, this is his former team he's serving against on match point and I told him, 'It's ace or error here buddy, go for it.' It's awesome to see him get the point on that one."
The Blues face Douglas again on Saturday in the back end of the weekend home-and-home set. Game time is 8 p.m. at Douglas College. The Blues next home date is Friday, Oct. 25 when they host Vancouver Island University at 8 p.m.