UFV Sports Saturday

Abbotsford – Cascades wrestlers finish fifth at Canada West championships

Devin Purewal and Pravi Dhaliwal of the University of the Fraser Valley wrestling team each finished fifth in their respective divisions at the Canada West championships in Winnipeg.

Purewal, who won silver in the men’s 72 kilogram weight class at last year’s conference championships, went 1-4 in the round robin tournament, with his lone victory coming against Matthew Kulak of the Alberta Golden Bears.

Dhaliwal, a rookie competing in the women’s 59 kg division, also posted a 1-4 record, highlighted by an 11-2 decision over Morgan Hill of the host Winnipeg Wesmen.

Arjan Bhullar, who serves as Cascades co-head coach alongside Raj Virdi, noted that the results weren’t what they’d been hoping for, but praised the athletes for their hard work.

“I can’t say enough about Pravi and Devin,” Bhullar said. “They have showed a lot of character coming out here and competing like they have, and throughout the year. Although we weren’t able to get them on the podium this weekend, those traits will serve them greatly moving forward.

“Pravi is a rookie and has showed great development over the season, if she continues to develop like she has, she will be a podium finisher and leader on the team moving forward. Devin had a great showing last year at this event, and even against some of the same competitors, but he just wasn’t firing this weekend.  It’s unfortunate to have that happen at a time like this, however we are committed to learn from this and get better. The preparation for next season starts today.”

Men’s Basketball: Cascades pull away for second straight win over WolfPack

With the playoffs looming, the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team appears to be peaking at the right time.

On Saturday evening at the Envision Athletic Centre, the Cascades put the finishing touches on an impressive weekend sweep of the CIS No. 9-ranked Thompson Rivers WolfPack. They prevailed 67-62, on the heels of an 82-79 triumph on Friday.

The Cascades improved to 12-6, good for second place in the Explorer Division, while the first-place WolfPack fell to 14-4. Each team has two regular-season games remaining – UFV hits the road to face the Mount Royal Cougars in Calgary next weekend, while TRU hosts UBC Okanagan.

“Great weekend for the guys,” UFV head coach Adam Friesen summarized. “We’re getting healthy at the right time and building momentum, and hopefully we can carry it into playoffs.”

Speaking of momentum, fourth-year guard Vijay Dhillon gave his team a bundle of it by opening the game scalding-hot from beyond the arc. The Richmond, B.C. product hit his first five attempts from three-point land, the fifth coming less than a minute into the second quarter and staking UFV to a 21-11 lead.

“We really talked about coming out with energy and having a good first five minutes of the game, and Vijay really sparked us in that regard,” Friesen noted.

The WolfPack, though, closed the second quarter on a 17-6 run, cutting the deficit to 30-28 at the break.

The Cascades tightened up the defence coming out of halftime, keeping TRU off the scoreboard entirely for the first three and a half minutes of the third quarter while expanding the lead to eight. They led by as many as 10 points in the fourth quarter, but the WolfPack clawed their way back behind some strong play off the bench from Jeff Tubbs, who scored all nine of his points in the final frame. A Tubbs layup with 2:38 remaining knotted the score 60-60.

UFV regained control thanks to huge buckets from Kevon Parchment and Brandon Burke. Parchment, the Cascades’ outstanding fifth-year guard who was celebrating his Senior Night, soared for a sensational up-and-under reverse layup to make it 62-60. After TRU’s Josh Wolfram missed from beyond the arc, Burke (6’4”) found a mismatch in the post against WolfPack point guard Reese Pribilsky (6’0”) and spun to the baseline to extend the lead to four with 59.8 seconds remaining.

The Cascades avoided any late-game drama from there, as Parchment went 3-for-4 from the free throw line.

Parchment posted a game-high 20 points to go with seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals, while Dhillon finished with 17 points and Manny Dulay scored 11. Navjot Bains hauled down 10 boards.

Wolfram paced the WolfPack with 16 points, and Volodymyr Iegorov (12 points) and Pribilisky (10) also scored in double figures.

The Cascades didn’t shoot the ball very well as a team, hitting just 35.9 per cent of their attempts from the field, but they limited TRU to 27.4 per cent shooting.

“Kevon’s weekend was just spectacular,” Friesen said. “Whether he’s having a hot shooting night or not, all the things he does on the floor makes us the team we are.

“And we don’t win this game without our four post players (Bains, Burke, Matt Cooley and Nate Brown) playing tremendous defence on their big guys.”

Women’s Basketball: Cameron, Cascades complete weekend sweep of WolfPack

 A stretch of red-hot shooting in the third quarter broke the game open and boosted the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team to a 60-46 victory over the Thompson Rivers WolfPack on Saturday evening.

The Cascades, coming off a tense 57-56 win on Friday over the WolfPack, didn’t have to sweat it out down the stretch in Saturday’s rematch at the Envision Athletic Centre.

That was thanks to their third-quarter pyrotechnics – they outscored TRU 25-13 in the frame and led by as many as 20 points.

Shayna Cameron celebrated her Senior Night in style – the Cascades’ lone fifth-year player racked up a game-high 18 points to go with five assists, four rebounds and four steals, and was subsequently honoured in a post-game ceremony.

Katie Brink and Kayli Sartori both chipped in with 14 points apiece for the hosts, while the WolfPack’s offensive struggles were illustrated in the fact they didn’t have a single player score in double figures. Kassie Colonna (nine points) and Taiysa Worsfold (eight points) were the offensive leaders for TRU, who shot just 23.6 per cent from the field as a team.

UFV (11-7) now holds a one-game lead over the UBC Okanagan Heat (10-8) in the race for the Explorer Division’s third and final playoff spot, and they can punch their post-season ticket by winning one of their two games against the Mount Royals Cougars in Calgary next weekend.

The WolfPack (13-5) fall two games back of the MacEwan Griffins (15-3) in the race for first in the Explorer. They wrap up the regular season at home next weekend vs. UBCO.

“We’ve been talking about being in playoff mode for a few weeks here now and had our backs against the wall, and I think it’s focused us, more than anything,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer said, reflecting on the weekend sweep.

“I didn’t think that we played great tonight – I thought Thompson Rivers did a lot of things that they’re really good at. They hammered us on the boards all night long, and they got way more possessions than we did. Honestly, they just didn’t hit shots tonight, and we did. In a lot of senses, they probably outplayed us tonight and stuck more to their game plan than we did. But we just ended up hitting some shots.”

Saturday’s game got off to a sloppy start – the two teams combined for 17 turnovers in the first quarter, which ended with TRU leading 15-12.

Sartori, after going scoreless in the opening frame with five turnovers, came alive with nine points in the second quarter to spark her team to a 30-23 halftime lead.

The Cascades took over in the third quarter, reeling off a 12-1 run capped by a Cameron three-pointer. A pair of subsequent Sydney Williams triples boosted the lead to 52-32 with two minutes left in the frame.

“Shayna came out aggressive and hit some shots early, and was dangerous all night long,” Tuchscherer said of Cameron, who transferred to UFV this season after four years with the PacWest’s Quest Kermodes. “It’s a good send-off for her in her last (regular season) home game. It’s been an honour to coach her for a year. It would have been nice to have her for a couple more years, but we’re lucky we got her for one.”

Tuchscherer also lauded the play of Brink, who shot 6-for-14 and hauled down eight rebounds while spearheading the Cascades’ stingy defensive effort.

“Katie was fantastic for us both nights,” he said. “When she’s playing that way, she’s a force offensively and defensively, and that really gives our team a different look.”

Men’s Volleyball: Royals beat Cascades in three sets

The Douglas Royals completed a weekend sweep of the University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team, prevailing in three sets on Saturday evening at UFV’s Student Activity Centre.

The Royals, ranked No. 5 in the nation, were coming off a four-set triumph on Friday, and they dispatched the Cascades in Saturday’s rematch by scores of and 25-14, 25-15 and 25-20.

UFV falls to 12-10, good for fourth in the PacWest, while second-place Douglas improves to 18-4.

“We struggled to pass tonight, and that made it tough,” Cascades head coach Kyle Donen analyzed. “When we passed the ball well, we were able to put the ball away. When we didn’t, we were in trouble a lot of the time. It makes it difficult to win against a team that’s big, and has a big block up there.”

Donen lauded the play of middles Dayton Pagliericci and Connor Nickel, and felt that his team did a better job of staying even-keeled emotionally than they had the night before, when they won the first set 25-12 only to drop the next three.

But they just weren’t sharp enough against a Douglas team which kept them under pressure with their serves all night.

“Other than the fact that we played amazing in the first set yesterday, I think tonight was a little bit better,” Donen said. “But we just need to look forward. This was not the weekend we were expecting, but we’ve got two more games to finish the season strong and the playoffs are right around the corner. We’ll be better next week, and we’ll be well-prepared for the playoffs.”

The Cascades volleyball teams wrap up the PacWest regular season next weekend with a home-and-home series vs. the Columbia Bible College Bearcats. The crosstown rivals play Thursday at Columbia Place, and Friday at UFV’s Envision Athletic Centre. Games times are 6 p.m. for the women and 8 p.m. for the men both nights.

Women’s Volleyball: Royals come roaring back to edge Cascades in epic five-setter

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team got off to a fantastic start, but the Douglas Royals responded with a furious finish.

The Cascades, coming off a three-set defeat to Douglas on Friday, were dialed in to begin Saturday’s rematch at the Student Activity Centre, winning the first two sets by scores of 25-19 and 25-18.

The CCAA No. 11-ranked Royals, though, clawed all the way back, taking the next three sets 25-12, 25-19 and 15-9.

The Cascades fell to 9-13, which leaves them fifth in the PacWest, while the fourth-place Royals improved to 12-10.

“Momentum is a finicky beast,” UFV head coach Mike Gilray noted afterward. “We had it early and couldn’t capitalize on it to get that third win. Then they grabbed the momentum, and it was hard to get it from them.

“We have to do a better job of slowing down their key hitters. In our big wins in the second semester, we’ve done a good job of that, but today we let their best players beat us.”

Left side Rachel Funk led the Cascades with 10 kills, and Gilray was pleased that three of his players – Kara Williams, Kelly Robertson and Amy Davidson – met or exceeded the team’s statistical standard for passing. Robertson and Davidson had 16 digs apiece, while Williams posted the Cascades’ best passing efficiency of the season.

Gilray lauded the speed with which the Royals ran their offence in the last three sets, and noted that his team had a hard time slowing down Douglas middle Autumn Davidson.

“We didn’t stop their best players from running their best plays,” he noted. “Some balls are going to score, but we have to make things more difficult for them.”

The Cascades volleyball teams wrap up the PacWest regular season next weekend with a home-and-home series vs. the Columbia Bible College Bearcats. The crosstown rivals play Thursday at Columbia Place, and Friday at UFV’s Envision Athletic Centre. Games times are 6 p.m. for the women and 8 p.m. for the men both nights.

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