UFV Cascades trekking into Avalanche country

College of the Rockies volleyball teams on the court in home action this weekend.

The Avs continue their home stand this weekend, as one team is hungry for revenge, while the other is hoping to continue their winning ways.

The men’s team swept the competition last week against the visiting Columbia Bible College Bearcats, while the women suffered the opposite results at the hands of their opponents.

This time, it’s the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades that will venture into Avalanche country.

The Cascades are on the bottom of the Pacwest league in the men’s division, however, the women’s side reign undefeated at the top.

The Avalanche ladies are still smarting from their weekend performance against the Bearcats and disappointed that they didn’t take any sets away from their opponents.

“They were not satisfied last weekend when they lost to CBC and I think they want to prove that they can be a good team this coming weekend,” said head coach Agata Bendkowska.

Bendkowska predicts UFV will put up a good fight and added it’s always better to play against good teams, as it forces her girls to rise to the occasion.

“…We know that we have to just play hard and own points, because we know that they are not going to give us free points. We know that we need to come here tomorrow [Friday] and be ready to go 100 per cent.”

Andrea Taylor, who plays left and right side for the team, said the team has been practicing hard over the last week.

“We really need to focus on getting our kills in, getting around the block is our major focus against UFV,” Taylor said.

Taylor added that the squad learned a hard lesson against the Bearcats a week ago.

“We didn’t really come together as a team as well as we did against Douglas and Capilano, but this week,  we’ve worked a lot harder at coming together as a team, so hopefully we can play together.”

For the men, the standings indicate that UFV is on the bottom, but that doesn’t mean head coach Steve Kamps and his guys are taking the opposition lightly.

“Their record is 1-5 but they’re a stronger team than that,” said Kamps. “They faced both top teams already and that’s four of their losses and we definitely can’t take them lightly.

“If you don’t prepare, any team can beat any team on any given night.”

His squad will benefit from the return of Drew Hamilton, a setter who was out with a virus for a few weeks.

Over the course of the week, his team has been working on scoring with the outside hitters and stopping the opposition when the ball isn’t passed very well.

That being said, left side Kieran Read said the team needs to focus on their game and what they can control.

“Even CBC on Friday, when they weren’t at their best, we had to keep the focus on ourselves instead of them, because once we start playing down to their level, if they’re having an off game, that’s how we get beat.

“We just need to focus on our side and we’ll come out on top.”

The Avs are hosting students from Adam Robertson Elementary in Creston, and any Cranbrook-area volleyball students can gain free admission if they wear their school jerseys.

Volleyball action starts at 6 p.m at the College of the Rockies gym on Friday with the ladies, followed by the men at 8 p.m.

Rematches kick off Saturday afternoon, starting with women at 1 p.m. and the men at 3 p.m.

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