The VIU Mariners and UFV Cascades will leave everything on the court Friday night in the PACWEST Spike Night as the first semester of play concludes.
The Mariners (8-2) have won two of their last three and will play at home for just the second time this season. Their offence has been solid collecting 10.8 kills a set with a hitting percentage of .260%. The top offensive weapon has actually been their balance. Mikayla Wagner leads the club with 99 kills, but then the combination of Amanda Dobbyn, Danielle Groenendijk, Andrea Cankovic and Sadie Wilson all have over 60 kills each.
On the defensive side Dobbyn has been a force in the middle with a PACWEST high 32 blocks while libero Kelsey Hutt leads the Conference with over four digs a set on average.
Knowing the Cascades are coming off a sweep last weekend, Mariners head coach Shane Hyde believes this match will be a great test for his team, “This weekend will be another challenging weekend. UFV is a very strong offensive team. They have some very skilled players and our team will have to bring intensity and work ethic to be successful this weekend. We have been struggling on Friday nights and then coming out Saturday a whole new team. This weekend is only the second weekend at home so we are hoping that Friday night we are a little sharper than we have been on previous away matches. To finally play at home will be a nice treat for our players and our fans. We will look to increase our defensive intensity and our overall aggressive play this weekend.”
For the Cascades (7-3) they are preparing for their first real road trip of the season after a weekend sweep at home. Much like the Mariners they are averaging 10.2 kills a set with a .207 hitting percentage. They have been led by Kim Bauder with her 94 kills and Amanda Matsui who has complimented Bauder nicely with 77 kills and 112 total offensive points.
Matsui is the Cascades leading point-producer on a per set basis and has recorded the second most blocks in the PACWEST with 29.
“I’m really excited for our first road trip,” says Cascades head coach Mike Gilray. “It helps the team get to know each other a little better before we go into the break. I’m also looking forward to seeing how we look against that VIU group.”
The Cascades will no doubt catch an early ferry on Friday morning and will hit the court at 6:00pm for their first of back to back matches with the Mariners.