Men’s volleyball beats UFV
By Eric Wilkins, Sports Editor
It was a good weekend (January 24 and 25) for the men’s volleyball team as they swept the visiting University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) Cascades. The Royals were especially dominant on Saturday night as they took the game in three sets.
“It’s the first sweep we’ve had this year—we’ve split every other weekend. I think it’s good for the guys. They’ve been working really hard and I feel like the work we’ve put in, especially this semester, is really starting to show on the floor,” said coach Brad Hudson after the game.
Douglas set the tone early on, jumping out to a 9-2 lead before UFV showed any signs of fight. Andrew McWilliam was in fine serving form, putting away a pair of aces to help the Royals pull away. The set was finished off on four straight points from Douglas—highlighted by a dink shot from Andrew Robson before Matt Santema put it away 25-12.
UFV was better prepared in the second set, even holding the lead for a good portion of it. Unfortunately for the visitors, however, Douglas was up for the challenge. Down 10-6, coach Hudson called a timeout in an effort to get the squad’s heads back in the game. It worked. With Nicholas Bridle delivering some powerful spikes and Drew Ruby picking up an ace along the way, the Royals clawed their way to a 14-14 tie. The set stayed tight right until the end—no more than three points separating the two teams at any point—when McWilliam supplied the final dig before Ruby finished it off.
The final set was Douglas’ for the taking and they did just that. The Cascades stuck with the Royals early on, but a hard spike from McWilliam followed by a demoralizing block from Caleb Konrad triggered a six-point run to put the visitors in the rear-view mirror. Douglas kept a comfortable cushion for the rest of the game until Bridle and Robson teamed up to secure the win.
“For a sweep, it feels pretty good. I think the team really came together—good to feel all the guns going at the same time,” commented Bridle.
Yamato Konishi remarked on the team’s energy level helping to pick up the win, “Sometimes we’re so hyper and sometimes we’re so down, but today and yesterday we were constant and really played for the point.”
With the team now in a three-way tie for third place coach Hudson spoke about the upcoming match-ups against first-place (only one win up on the Royals) Columbia Bible College: “They’re a good team. They’ve got kids on their team that have won a national championship so you can’t really question their group. But at the same time, we’re still building so I feel pretty good about where we’re at and excited to get back on the road. We’ve been on the road for most of this semester and we had our trip to California so we’re pretty comfortable away from home now and it’ll be a fun place to play.”