Royals women’s volleyball take on the UFV Cascades
By Davie Wong, Sports Editor
The opening of the PACWEST’s season second split for volleyball saw the Royals taking on the visiting UFV Cascades. Returning to the Royals as a foe rather than a friend was former first-string setter, Jessica Funk. Funk played two years in a Royals jersey before making the move to the Cascades to play with her sister, Rachel Funk. As the director for the team’s attacks and ace server, Jessica is a dangerous asset for the Cascades.
That definitely showed in the first set, though the Royals were ready for their old teammate. They handed the Cascades well during a tough first set, taking it with a score of 25–16.The Cascades would not stay down, however, striking back to take the next set 25–19.
A decisive third set was a major factor to the game, and both teams went the distance. It was tooth and nail, but the Royals were the ones to come out on top, winning 25–22 to take the 2–1 lead. However, the Cascades are far from a team that takes it lying down. They swung a set right back at the Royals to tie it at two apiece, and sent the game into a fifth and final set.
With the building on the edge of its seat, the Royals danced back and forth with the Cascades, trading point for point. Down 14–13 with the game on the line, it would come down to a massive serve by Royals captain Juliana Penner, and a huge block from Georgia Hurry to secure the win. From the brink, the Royals managed to emerge victorious.
As satisfying as the win was, the team knew they had to do it all over again the next day. However, things didn’t go as smooth for the team as it did the night before. The first set went completely unhinged as the Cascades rolled their way to a 25–12 set win.
A regrouped Royals made their stand in the second, but couldn’t hold off the UFV team, as they dropped the set 25–18. After much emphasis from the coach, the team snapped back into form with a 25–20 effort that earned them a third set win., which forced a fourth set in the game, and the Cascades were not happy about it. They charged into the fourth set, determined to make it their last, taking the set 25–19, and the game 3–1.
The split weekend puts the Royals at 10–4 on the season, which is good enough for second place in the PACWEST Conference. They sit one game behind the league leading VIU Mariners, and one game ahead of the 8–5 Capilano Blues.