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Port Coquitlam volleyball player claims historic honour for UFV Cascades

Amanda Matsui is smashing at the net and lighting up the boards after coming back from a fall semester injury.

After spending most of the first half of the 2021-22 season sidelined by injury, Amanda Matsui has made a miraculous comeback at Canada's highest level of university volleyball.

So much so that, in just four games, the Port Coquitlam product turned heads of the Canada West brass after aiding the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) to four straight wins — two on home court.

The feat was historic for the Cascades, which has resulted in a combined 39 kills from the six-foot-one fourth-year outside hitter and the title of an all-conference women's volleyball athlete of the week.

This marks the first time a UFV player has earned the honour amid the program's first full season in the conference.

Matsui scored a team-high 13 kills and added seven digs en route to a four-set (3-1) victory against Thompson Rivers (TRU) in the Cascades first home weekend stint of the season.

The occasion was postponed from November due to the then state of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The next night, the Riverside Secondary grad made an even bigger statement with 26 kills and 11 digs in lifting the green and white to a thrilling five-set win (3-2) over the WolfPack.

"Yesterday Amanda was fighting it a little bit, and today she found her stride," UFV Head Coach Janelle Rozema said of Matsui in a release following the fourth consecutive victory.

"That's a tough thing for an athlete to do, especially when the only conversation on the other side of the net is about you. To find a way to perform when teams are thinking about you that much is important."

A week earlier, she capitalized on her return to the Cascades' line-up when they were the visitors to TRU and exceeded more than 20 kills in each win.

Matsui's strong start to 2022 has brought UFV to an even 5-5 record with six games left on the season's slate.

The Cascades are due back on home court tonight (Feb. 12) at 6 p.m. against the UBC Thunderbirds.