Kayla Bruce and the UFV women’s volleyball team dropped their first game against the Vancouver Island University Mariners

Kayla Bruce and the UFV women’s volleyball team dropped their first game against the Vancouver Island University Mariners

PacWest weekend wrap: Cascades split marquee match-up vs. Mariners

The UFV women's volleyball team saw its undefeated record torpedoed by VIU, but the Cascades bounced back in a big way.

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team saw its undefeated record torpedoed by the Vancouver Island University Mariners, but the Cascades bounced back to split a weekend series with the nation’s No. 1-ranked team.

Playing a marquee match-up on the road in Nanaimo, No. 5-ranked UFV struggled mightily in Friday’s opener, as they were dispatched in straight sets (25-18, 25-21, 25-18).

They came back strong on Saturday, knocking off the defending Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) champs in four sets (25-18, 23-25, 25-14, 25-17).

“You don’t want to wish a loss upon your team, but it was probably a good time for one to happen,” UFV coach Dennis Bokenfohr said, reflecting on the weekend.

“There was some talk about a perfect season going around, but that’s wasted energy and takes you away from what you should be working towards. You play differently when you’re playing not to lose, as opposed to just playing to win.”

Indeed, the Cascades came out with a sharper focus on Saturday – one of the referees told Bokenfohr his squad looked “a little ticked off” after losing in decisive fashion the night before.

Krista Hogewoning (15 kills, two aces) and Kayla Bruce (13 kills, four blocks) led UFV with 17 points apiece in the victory, while Kierra Noot racked up nine blocks and Jenna Evans chipped in with nine kills.

The Cascades (9-1) maintained first place in the PacWest conference, one game up on VIU (8-2).

When the new CCAA rankings came out Tuesday morning, the Cascades had moved up to No. 3, while the Mariners tumbled all the way down to No. 5. It’s a bit of a head-scratcher, and it’s probably fair to say the PacWest is vastly underrated nationally at the moment, considering the Mariners are the defending CCAA champs and the Cascades won bronze last season.

“It’s been a bit of fun, trying to figure out what they’re thinking,” Bokenfohr said, speaking of the rankings.

• In other PacWest action, the UFV men’s volleyball team fell to 1-9 after the Mariners swept them on the weekend. VIU prevailed in three sets on Friday, and in four on Saturday.

• The Columbia Bible College women’s volleyball team, ranked No. 10 in the nation, split a pair of games on the road against the Camosun Chargers in Victoria. The Bearcats, third in the PacWest at 6-4, won in four sets Friday, but fell in three straight Saturday.

• The CBC men’s volleyballers lost both of their games vs. Camuson in three sets, dropping their record to 2-8 on the season.

• The Bearcats men’s basketball team (1-4) suffered a pair of losses at home, falling 88-86 to the Douglas Royals on Friday and 111-87 to the Langara Falcons on Saturday.

• The CBC women’s hoopsters (0-5) came close vs. Langara on Saturday, dropping a 60-54 decision. They also lost 94-36 to Douglas.

• Both of Abbotsford’s college volleyball teams are at home this weekend. The Bearcats host the Capilano Blues, while the Cascades take on the Douglas Royals. The women open at 6 p.m., followed by the men at 8 p.m., on Friday and Saturday at both campuses.

• The CBC basketball teams hit the road to face the Kwantlen Eagles in Surrey on Friday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.).

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