Friday night’s PACWEST Spike Night will highlight a rematch of last year’s semi-final when the Camosun Chargers visit the UFV Cascades.
In last year’s semi-final the Cascades were the #2 seed after a terrific regular season and high hopes for a long playoff run. However the two-time defending champion Chargers had different ideas as the third seed and they moved on with a four set victory.
Despite this season being so early and entering Week 3 this is a big weekend for both schools. The Cascades are trying to bounce back after losing three straight matches while the Chargers are looking to continue their hot play and have won two in a row.
For the Chargers it’s their second straight roady after sweeping the COTR Avalanche last weekend in Cranbrook. In their four matches thus far they are getting production from a number of different athletes. Matt Bowers leads the team with 33 kills, Rian Plante has tallied 23 and Jerome Cross has 22.
Their defence has been equally good. Spencer Janzen shares the PACWEST lead in blocks with 10 while libero Elion Wong has been stellar with a Conference high 37 digs. Plante has 32 digs to share the duties.
Chargers head coach Charles Parkinson knows his club will need to be focused to have success at UFV, “We've had some terrific battles with UFV over the last few years and Kyle has done a great job with the program. Setter Adam Frederickson runs a very fast offense and with talented, veteran attackers like Friesen, Whittall and Bruce they are always dangerous. Dayton Pagliericci also gives them heart and a stop presence in the middle, and it's only the fact that they haven't yet found their form as a team that has had an impact on their record. One of our goals is to continue to keep them slightly off their game with our serving and blocking, but we also need to pass and defend much better if we want to be a contender. We are excited to extend the healthy rivalry we have with the Cascades and look forward to being tested once again by a quality PACWEST team."
As coach Parkinson mentions, Ben Friesen is extremely dangerous and has led his club with 30 kills in 12 sets this season. However secondary scoring in the first two weeks has been difficult to find on a consistent basis. Nick Bruce has chipped in with 15 kills and 20 offensive points.
Cascades head coach Kyle Donen is hoping the rivalry with the Chargers will get their juices flowing and turn their fortunes, “We are excited to get back onto the court to rebound from a tough weekend against Capilano. We always have really good battles with the Chargers and I am hoping these games bring out some extra emotion this weekend. Can't wait for the challenge come Friday night.”
These two schools with battle Friday night at 8:00pm then again on Saturday afternoon at 3:00pm at UFV.