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PACWEST Spike Night: Mariners @ Cascades

Photo courtesy of Northfield Photography
Photo courtesy of Northfield Photography

The VIU Mariners (15-3) will travel to the UFV Cascades (11-7) this weekend for the PACWEST Spike Night on Friday.

The defending PACWEST champion Mariners have been on a tear as of late with five straight victories and have won eight of their last nine dating back to the middle of November. In their latest five wins they have dropped just one set; a 25-23 setback at Capilano. They are coming off back to back sweeps of COTR last weekend.

As a team they are averaging 10.8 kills a set led by veterans Mikayla Wagner and Andrea Cankovic. Together they are averaging four kills a set and have collected 384 combined points. Cankovic has also been a force at the service line with 31 aces, second most in the PACWEST.

On the defensive side they don’t give up much with 2.1 blocks and 16 digs per set. Kelsey Hutt has been simply terrific averaging over four digs a set, most in the PACWEST. Amanda Dobbyn has been a wall at the net with 46 blocks; tied for second most in the PACWEST.

This weekend will be the second time they have faced each other this season after the Mariners swept the Cascades at the end of November. Wagner had 18 kills in the six sets while Cankovic also had 18 kills to compliment her 18 digs and four aces. Hutt recorded 22 digs.

The Cascades will play their first home matches of the second half after opening up with six straight on the road. They’ve won three of their last four matches.

Overall their offence has been just as solid as the Mariners with 10.4 kills a set led by Amanda Matsui and Kim Bauder. They have combined for 343 kills and 403 total offensive points. Matsui leads the PACWEST with 38 aces.

In their first meeting with the Mariners both Matsui and Bauder tallied 37 kills for an offence that didn’t win a set.

The key ingredient for the Cascades this weekend will be secondary scoring. If Keira Fisher or Hanna Hieltjes can step up it’ll give their club another threat and something else for the Mariners to worry about.

Friday night’s Spike Night will open at 6:00pm, followed by a second meeting on Saturday afternoon at 1:00pm on the same floor that’ll host the PACWEST championship at the end of the month.