Royals volleyball take on UFV Cascades in PACWEST clash
By Davie Wong, Sports Editor
It was an exciting week of volleyball action in the PACWEST as the Royals took on the UFV Cascades. It was a top of the table matchup for the women. For the men, it was a battle for early positioning on the leaderboards.
Game one saw the women take the stage. A strong set in front of their home fans saw the Cascades take the lead, 1-0 with a big 25-18 set. But the Royals swung right back, grabbing the second set 25-21. The third set was a momentum swinger. A big set win (25-17) saw the Royals grab hold of the game. Though the Cascades fought back in the fourth, the Royals had more than enough to take home the game with a 25-20 set win.
Several Royals had massive games for their team. Caet McCorkell had 18 kills and 19 total points for a team high. Vania Oliveira picked up 11 kills and 15 total points of attack, and Vicki Schley had 12 kills to continue her fantastic season. Jane Kepler was easily the player of the game as she dished up 40 assists through four sets.
Over on the men’s side of the court, the game was a much tighter affair. The two teams went the distance in the first set, but the Cascades used their home advantage to swing the set their way, 25-22. The second set was a need to win for the Royals. But the Cascades didn’t make their job easy. The two teams traded points between themselves, going all the way and even past the line. However, when the set settled, it was the Royals who finished a step ahead of the Cascades, grabbing the set 26-24 and tying the game.
The third set showcased what the Royals could do when they had momentum. A big 25-20 set win put the Royals into a winning position. Put on the back foot, the Cascades failed to hold themselves steady and collapsed under the pressure. This was evident in their loss of the fourth set, and the game, 25-18, and 3-1 respectively.
Reid Marriot was a big player for the Royals, picking up 22 total offensive points. Trayl Plouffe, Dan Baird, and Keaton Mann each had 10 plus points each en-route to the Royals win. However, their star would have to be Jared Collins, who put up a massive 48 assists for his team.
Game one added extra intrigue to the second game of the series. For the women, the Cascades needed to battle back before their slump turned into a free-fall. The result of that would be a very lively first set. A fiery set that lasted much longer than one normally does set the pace. The Cascades emerged on top of the set, winning 32-30. However, they were unable to keep up their strong form, while the Royals were. A 25-18 set win for the Royals tied the game. With the game a stalemate, the next set meant momentum headed into what would be match point. Understandably, both teams wanted to be in the lead.
The set was a long drawn out battle between two powerhouse teams. But when the points settled, it was the Royals who found themselves with the set lead, after a thrilling 25-23 set win. The set was the one that broke the Cascade, and they dropped the last set 25-16.
Once again, Caet McCorkell and Vania Oliveira had strong games for the Royals with 18 and 14 total points respectively. Olivia Cesaretti chipped in with 13 total points of her own. Jane Kepler had 28 assists, and the women roll along to another 2-0 weekend. They are the uncontested leaders of the PACWEST with a record of 9-1.
For the men, their matchup was not as exciting but just as heated. The Royals got things started with a big first set, winning 25-18 to start the game. But the Cascades were on point, taking the next two 25-20 to put the Royals in a bad position. Down against the wall, the team needed a big performance to stay in it. They almost got it too.
In a fourth set that could have gone either way, the UFV Cascades closed the door on a Royals comeback, winning the set 25-23, and the game 3-1. Despite the loss, Justin Faester and Zackery Thielmann had big games, each picking 13 total points. Jared Collins had another excellent performance, assisting his team 40 times on the night.
The result leaves the Royals even with a record of 5-5. That’s good enough to tie for third in the PACWEST, with the Camosun Chargers. Next week will be a challenge for both sides as they return home to take on the rambunctious VIU Mariners.