After heading to Nanaimo on Thursday night and taking down the first-place Vancouver Island University Mariners in a five-set thriller, the Capilano Blues returned to North Vancouver to take care of business on their home court with a two-game sweep of the Camosun College Chargers. The three wins keep CapU undefeated in 2017 with an 8-0 record in PACWEST play and vault them into first place in the conference.
Thursday’s match against the Mariners was a makeup for last weekend’s cancelled games on the island, with the Blues heading over to take on a foe that they hadn’t won a set against so far this year. After dropping the first frame against the Mariners, the Blues battled back to take the second, but lost in the third 25-16 to put them down again.
CapU flipped the switch in the fourth set, taking full control and cruising to a 25-11 win, and kept it going in the fifth – winning it 15-11 to secure the come-from-behind victory. It was the first time in years that Capilano had beaten VIU on their home court.
Fifth-year Kelsi Boroevich led the way for Capilano with 12 kills on 43% hitting, while also recording 13 digs. Kira Sutcliffe hit double figures in both totals as well, compiling 11 and 15. On defence the Blues recorded 11 blocks, with Tyneille Neufeld picking up four of them.
The Blues were a bit slow out of the gate on Friday evening against Camosun, struggling to carry over their strong play from Thursday and falling 25-20 in the first set. Things didn’t look good in the second as well, with CapU trailing early, but a couple substitutions helped turn the tide.
Anika Kolybaba and Zoe Mydansky came off the bench to help spark a rally that evened up the set, and a strong service game from Kelsi Boroevich helped bring it to set point. Yet a late rally by the Chargers knotted things up at 24, before the Blues pulled together to take the next two points and even up the match.
Capilano kept it rolling from there, getting out to early leads in the third and fourth sets before taking both of them to secure the 3-1 win. Sutcliffe led the team with 14 kills on 32 attempts (44%), while libero Meghan Koven led a strong defensive effort with 10 digs.
Saturday saw more of the same for the Blues, as balanced play from across the board led to a straight-sets victory over Camosun. The defensive play again powered the all-around effort, with 13 total blocks – five coming from Sarah Hughes. In her first game back from an ACL injury, Keeley Bell also made contributions with two kills, and ace, and a block.
“It’s a lot of teamwork,” said CapU head coach Cal Wohlford about his team’s success since the new year. “Each night we have different people stepping up and performing. We’re getting some consistency out of our passing, which makes it easier for out setter [Hughes], who I think is one of the top setters. There’s no hitter that’s putting up huge numbers because the offence has been spread around, and that’s big – it makes it difficult for the other team to key on you.
“Our blocking is start to come along, and our defence is pretty solid, so overall I think that we’re making a big team effort towards what we’re doing, and that’s the big challenge.”
With the three wins, Capilano now sits in a three-way tie for first place in the conference with a 16-5 record and 32 points. The Blues face VIU again on Tuesday, February 14 at the Sportsplex in their second make-up game, with the winner taking over sole possession of top spot. Next weekend, Cap’s final two games are a home-and-home against Douglas College, who’s the other team at 32 points.
Tuesday’s game goes at 2 p.m., while the final home game is on Saturday, February 18 at 6 p.m. The Saturday game is also Seniors Night, with Cap’s graduating players – Sarah Hughes, Kira Sutcliffe, Kelsi Boroevich, and Kolby Ricther – being honoured before the game.