Posted: Mar 15, 2020
Brent Mutis, CapU Sport Information & Compliance Officer
For the first time in team history, the Capilano Blues men's volleyball team has won the CCAA national championship.
The Blues defeated the Humber College Hawks of Etobicoke, Ont. Saturday night in straight sets (25-15, 25-18, 25-19).
Starting strong, CapU scored the first three points of the match and held leads of 11-5, 15-7 and 20-12 on the way to taking the first set. Ben Friesen notched four of his 10 kills on the night in the first.
It was more of the same in the second with Simon Friesen dealing two straight aces in between blocks from Leonard Tesarik, helping the Blues to a 6-1 lead. Humber rallied to within a point as a result of three consecutive CapU errors but they were never able to even the score. Humber, who had not lost a match the entire season, never wound up leading at any point in the match.
The Hawks best chance to get ahead was at 5-5 in the third set but kills from Ben Friesen and Rafael Hilario plus an error from the Hawks put CapU back in the lead. Jacob Hopkins racked up five of his 12 kills on the night in the third set.
“Before we left one of our longtime gym staff members (Tom Smith) mentioned to us that (Capilano) had only been to the national final twice in school history and they lost both times,” said Hopkins. “So, getting through yesterday and then getting today we just wanted to put one down in school history.”
It was the last college game for twins Ben and Simon Friesen and couldn't have been scripted much better. The veteran leaders knew the challenge Humber presented but stuck to their gameplan and used the weapons at their disposal.
“It was a little intimidating coming into it,” said Ben Friesen about the matchup with Humber. “They are a bunch of big guys; very skilled volleyball players with a lot of power behind their hits. At the same time, we knew our strengths and played to them and adjusted to theirs.”
Fifth-year setter Simon Friesen had 35 assists and a season-high six aces while Hopkins led the Blues attack with 12 kills.
The tournament was held at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, N.B.
This is the 15th national championship for CapU Blues Athletics and the first since the 2009-10 season.
The following Blues players were recognized with tournament awards after the game.
Simon Friesen (Abbotsford, BC)
1st Team Championship All-Stars
Ben Friesen (Abbotsford, BC)
Rafael Hilario (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
2nd Team Championship All-Stars
Jacob Hopkins (Powell River, BC)