After a slow start to the Canada West season, the University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team has won four straight and dominated the TRU Wolfpack to leap back to a .500 team.
The first-ever CW volleyball games finally occurred in Abbotsford on Friday (Feb. 4) and the women kicked off the new era with a 3-1 (26-24, 17-25, 26-24 and 25-16) win over TRU.
Rookie middle and Mission product Mo Likness had a breakout game on Friday, racking up 11 kills on just 15 swings for a .600 hitting percentage to pace UFV.
🏔🏐 WVB | Cascades trailing early, but Mo Likness finds herself all alone at the net and hammers it down! 🔨 #GoCascades pic.twitter.com/K6xpkXAlg9
— UFV Cascades (@UFVCascades) February 5, 2022
“It means the world, for sure,” UFV head coach Janelle Rozema said, reflecting on the opportunity to play a CW home game.
“We talk a lot about how our home court is sacred, and having our logo in the centre of the court, reminding us of who we’re representing, we’ve been missing that. And then having the whole crowd behind us, we haven’t experienced that yet. And the crowd was great tonight. It was a really good atmosphere, a really good feel.”
The women continued the strong play on Saturday (Feb. 5) and picked up a 3-2 (20-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-27 and 15-4) win over TRU.
UFV’s Amanda Matsui starred on Saturday, picking up a game-high 26 kills.
🏔🏐 WVB | @amandamatsui with a clutch shot down the line to clinch a 25-23 Cascade win in the third set!@goUFV 2@GoTRUWolfPack 1#GoCascades pic.twitter.com/5cDilG5J5H
— UFV Cascades (@UFVCascades) February 6, 2022
“We expected Thompson Rivers to play better today, and they did play better,” Rozema said. “But we talked about embracing them playing better, because we’re preparing for playoffs. We want teams to play well against us and make us have to find solutions. I think Thompson Rivers did that. I obviously believe they would have done it more towards the end without the injury that they sustained, but it was still a good experience for us.”
The women’s record now sits at 5-5 and they are tied for third in CW’s West Division.
It was a different story for the men, who are still seeking their first win in CW history.
Friday saw the men open up a 2-0 lead on TRU, only to drop the next three sets. The Wolfpack took the 3-2 win (25-17. 25-23, 23-25, 20-25 and 10-15) to spoil the team’s CW debut.
“Obviously we’ve got to improve on finishing matches off,” stated men’s head coach Nathan Bennett. “At the end of the day, we’ve been in this situation a few times and we have yet to learn that lesson. I’m hoping that lesson gets learned soon.”
TRU also triumphed on Saturday, earning a 3-1 (23-25, 23-25, 25-23 and 21-25) win over the Cascades.
The Cascades held leads in each of the sets, but couldn’t hold on.
“We started off pretty well, I thought – we had big leads in almost every set,” Bennett said afterward. “I think we have a great team, I really do. I believe in these guys. We have the right people here. We just need to find a way to make the right decisions when it matters.”
“We’ve just got to keep battling. We know we’re a good volleyball team and we know we can win games. It’s just doing the small things that can finish that.”
🎙 Post-game thoughts from @Reece_Wilson41, @UFVmvb pic.twitter.com/bKpSDr94dm
— UFV Cascades (@UFVCascades) February 7, 2022
The men have a record of 0-10 and are the lone men’s volleyball team in CW without a victory.