Brent Mutis, CapU Sport Information & Compliance Officer
With files from Denver Sparks-Guest
Heading out on the road proved to be just what the Blues men's volleyball team needed last weekend as they came away with a pair of wins against College of the Rockies (COTR).
The opening set Friday turned out to be the only set the Blues would drop before rattling off six straight set wins to take the weekend. Friday's results were 21-25, 25-20, 26-24 and 25-18. It was a clean sweep on Saturday: 25-16, 25-19, 25-22.
The most hotly contested set was the third on Friday as extra points were needed to settle it. A series of Blues attacking errors allowed COTR to come back after Cap had gotten out to a 12-6 lead and it remained close with the home side holding a 24-23 edge before kills by Graeme Hughes and Ben Friesen clinched it for the Blues.
Rafael Hilario led the attack Friday, picking up 15 points of offence on 12 kills to go along with eight digs and a pair of solo blocks. Friesen was the most consistent performer on the weekend as a whole with 11 points on Friday and 12 on Saturday. He was nominated as Blues male Athlete of the Week.
Hughes saw increased floor time and was in the starting lineup both nights as Jacob Hopkins continues to work his way back from an injury. Significant playing time was given to first-year middle blockers James Fong, Enis Besirevic and Leonard Tesarik as well.
"Friday we had a bit of a shaky start from the service line and their home crowd help to keep COTR energized and in the match," said Blues head coach Dave Dooley. "We also had great contributions from the bench this weekend, with four different service subs all doing an excellent job and all four of our middle blockers seeing action this weekend."
On Saturday, the Blues earned a decisive win in the first set and didn't look back. They were also sharper in the service game after committing 18 errors Friday in that department.
"On Saturday we really cleaned up our first contacts, both serve and reception, and we were able to really execute our game plan as a result," said Dooley. "All in all, a full team effort and a great result for us."
The pair of wins evened the Blues' record at 3-3.
Next up on the schedule is a Nov. 8 and 9 home-and-home set against the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV). Friday's game is at UFV and is set for an 8 p.m. start. Saturday's game is at 7 p.m. at CapU's Centre for Sport and Wellness.