In their last match of 2019, the Douglas College Royals men’s volleyball team tasted something that has been in short supply this season.
And no doubt, they didn’t like it.
The Royals suffered just their second loss of the season, a 3-1 setback at the hands of the University of the Fraser Valley at the New West campus, to wrap up the first half of PacWest play at 9-2.
The Cascades turned a 1-1 game into a winnable run with 25-19 and 25-12 decisions.
The first two sets were close, with UFV taking the first one 25-21, while the Royals rallied with a 19-25 win to even it up. They couldn’t keep it going over the next two sets, however.
Caleb Kastelein led the Cascades with 11 kills and six digs.
Matt Shand led Douglas with a game-high 18 kills and 19 digs.
A day earlier, the Royals held the upperhand in a 3-1 (25-21, 19-25, 25-22, 25-22) battle.
The Shand brothers – first-year Matt and third-year Ben, of Prince George – combined for 24 kills and 10 digs. The younger sibling also delivered five aces, while fifth-year setter Jared Collin collected 31 assists.
It ended a nine-match win streak, as Douglas opened the season with a 3-0 loss to Capilano, before catching fire.
The squad, which includes New West’s John Colobong is currently ranked No. 3 in the nation.
The season takes a seven-week sabbatical before getting back on court Jan. 3, when Douglas starts the second half with a visit to UFV.
WOMEN ROYALS SPLIT WITH CASCADES
It was a little bit give, a little bit take.
What the Douglas College Royals women’s volleyball team can take with them into the midseason volleyball season break is that they’ve given as good as they’ve got over the past few weeks.
The Royals split last weekend’s series with the University of the Fraser Valley, prevailing 3-2 (25-27, 25-19, 17-25, 25-23, 15-10) on Friday in Abbotsford, before falling 3-2 (22-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-23, 15-6) on Saturday in New West.
The mirrored results were a nice bounce-back after Douglas suffered a two-match sweep at the hands of Vancouver Island the previous week, and see the squad firmly entrenched in the middle of the PacWest standings at 5-6.
In the win, the Royals rallied from a trailing 2-1 by taking the last two sets. Grace Warkentin delivered on both sides of the ball with 12 kills and 13 digs, while Emma Schill was equally as potent with 13 kills and 11 digs.
Chipping in with some stellar mid-court play was second-year Olivia Cesaretti, with 13 kills and a block, while libero Trisha He produced 25 digs.
A day later it was the Cascades on the comeback trail, as Douglas pulled ahead 2-1 before the Fraser Valley came back. PacWest kill leader Amanda Matsui, of PoCo, racked up a match-high 17 kills and added 12 digs.
The Royals’ Schill was again at the top of her game with 13 kills and 20 digs, while Warkentin chipped in 11 kills and 21 digs. He padded her league-best dig tally with 32 more.
Douglas now steps away from the court for the next six weeks, getting back at it Jan. 3 when they visit UFV.