Easing the sting of their Friday night defeat to the VIU Mariners, the University of the Fraser Valley women's volleyball squad came back with a vengeance to beat the Mariners 3-2 Saturday in a battle for league dominance.
The win keeps the Cascades nationally ranked No. 1 and improves their PACWEST conference record to 18-2 while VIU drops to 17-3, one game behind with four matches remaining in regular season.
"I am very happy for the team. We played well and showed that we have a balanced lineup," said UFV head coach Dennis Bokenfohr.
"Our flexibility with the team is great; we can count on anyone on the roster to contribute to our success."
The set scores Saturday were 2523, 25-15, 16-25, 19-25 and 15-11.
The Cascades came out strong Saturday afternoon, shaking off their 3-1 loss to VIU the night before and quickly establishing that this afternoon would be different.
The Cascades were led by fifth year veteran All-Canadian Kayla Bruce, and fifth year captain Brittany Stewart, whose leadership helped UFV start off by winning the first five points of the opening set. The Cascades would not let VIU settle into the match, winning every battle under the net and stealing several points with brilliant shots by Jenna Evans and Bruce.
UFV continued to dominate in the second set, winning the battle by the net.
VIU continued to struggle in the set with several bad serves giving UFV four straight points midway through the set that broke the score wide open as UFV would win set two 25-15.
In the third and fourth sets the Mariners came alive and showed why they are ranked second in the CCAA nationally.
Their composure came back and they played close to flawless volleyball for the middle two sets.
While the Cascades continued to play strong around the net, the Mariners would go onto win the third set 25-16 and the fourth, 25-19.
With their back to the wall, the Cascades battled hard, keeping the score tied at eight halfway through the fifth and deciding set.
UFV's Kira Tome was a serving machine as she recorded five straight Cascades points to blow open the fifth set and send VIU home with a 15-11 loss in the deciding frame.
"It is a great feeling to defend our No. 1 ranking in the CCAA polls," said Bokenfohr.
UFV has four PACWEST regular season matches remaining, three at home against College of the Rockies Avalanche and CBC Bearcats and one on the road at Columbia Place in Abbotsford.