PACWEST Spike Night: Royals @ Cascades

Photo courtesy of Vancouver Sports Pictures
Photo courtesy of Vancouver Sports Pictures

Just four points separates the Douglas Royals (4-4) and the UFV Cascades (2-4) in the standings as the two will square off in PACWEST Spike Night and a rematch of last season’s bronze medal match.

The Royals split last weekend extending both matches to five sets at Camosun. They have started to show signs of growth in the right direction led by Reid Marriott on the offensive side averaging three kills each set. He has a team high 90 kills and is second in PACWEST total points collecting 111. Justin Faester has also been good on the offensive side with 50 kills and 65 total points. He leads his club with 11 aces.

Four Royals appear on the PACWEST top 15 blockers list led by Trayl Plouffe’s 18 along with 13 from Marriott.

Royals’ head coach Jay Tremonti is looking for his athletes to continue to move in the right direction, “Our group is looking forward to making the trip out to Abbotsford this weekend to play a veteran UFV squad. We’ve seen continued growth out of our guys the past few weeks and I’m excited to see how it continues this weekend versus UFV. Kyle Donen’s team is known for their serve, block defence – led by middle blockers Dayton Pagliericci and Connor Pruim. Our receivers will be ready to handle the pace from the baseline and our setter Jared Collins (3rd year captain) will be tested to find opportunities to run an effective offense against the Cascade block”

The Cascades are coming off a bye week and will play their sixth straight home match. On the offensive side they are starting to gel. Prior to their bye week they played the defending champion Camosun Chargers tough extending both matches to five sets, which they split.

Nick Bruce is among the PACWEST leaders with over three kills per set. He has tallied 62 kills in just 17 sets played and 74 total offensive points. Veteran Ben Friesen has also been a solid option playing on both side of the net compiling 60 kills and 50 digs.

Both Bruce and Friesen were part of the Cascades last season who were upset by the Royals in the bronze medal match which will no doubt add an extra flare this weekend.

Head coach Kyle Donen is hoping the momentum from their five set victory over Camosun two weeks ago carries over to this weekend, “Coming off the bye week we are excited to step back onto the floor and continue from where we left off against Camosun. The last time we played Douglas in seasonal play was for the bronze medal so that should light a few fires heading into the weekend match up as well. I expect it to be a back and forth battle and we feel well prepared for it.”

Playing at UFV is always a difficult place to play and the Royals know that all too well after being swept there last year. These schools will hit the court at 8:00pm on Friday and 7:00pm on Saturday following the women’s matches.