Brent Mutis, CapU Sport Information and Compliance Officer
The Capilano Blues men's volleyball team ran its win streak to four games after a pair of wins over the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV).
It was a three-set affair Friday at UFV by scores of 25-16, 25-23 and 25-21. Returning home Saturday, the Blues dropped the first set 25-22 and then reeled off three-straight sets 25-17, 25-21 and 25-14.
Opening up on the road at UFV, the Blues took advantage of a Cascades side that committed 16 service errors and 12 more on the attack on the way to a straight-sets win. Rafael Hilario had 10 kills and hit .438 for the night on his way to 12.5 points of offence.
Returning to CapU for Saturday's game, the Blues faced a Cascades club that came out motivated to atone for Friday and took the first set. The Blues were not as crisp to start off with as head coach Dave Dooley would have wanted but he liked his the response his team showed.
"We knew they were going to come out really wanting to avenge the 3-0 loss from the night before and we knew they were going to battle," said Dooley. "I thought we were prepared for that; I still think we could have won that set but 11 unforced errors, we gave them 11 of their 25 points.
"Regardless of the team on the other side of the net, I expect better out of our guys than that so we cleaned that up and rolled from there."
That included Simon Friesen teeing up 38 assists to better his output from the night before. Many of those went the way of Hilario, who notched 15 kills on the night and hit .375 while recording three digs and an ace from the service line.
Dooley had been preaching attention to detail from his blocking formation in the week leading up to the UFV games and noted a former member of the Cascades now suiting up for the Blues for his presence at the net.
"Graeme Hughes had six block points and he was definitely a presence out there and that's the biggest thing blockers are trying to do is influence the play and he did that by getting points but also forcing some hitting errors."
Dooley was able to use several players off his bench Saturday as the Blues won two of the sets by a comfortable margin. The head coach said the experience gained by his athletes was the most positive development of the weekend.
"I definitely think getting everyone some time, everybody on the floor, all four of our middles on the floor," said Dooley. "... Dimitrije (Djordjevic) from Serbia, getting the winning block and getting a couple of kills at the end."
"Malachi who played libero (Friday) night and who hasn't set a single point all year for us in practice, but Malachi played setter for me with my club team when we got the national silver medal so I knew he could do it regardless of training. It's nice to have guys out there that you can really trust."
Next up for the Blues is a Friday-Saturday doubleheader at home against the Camosun College Chargers. Friday's action begins with the women's game at 6 p.m. followed by the men at 8 p.m. On Saturday, start times are 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.