UFV Sports Saturday – Basketball Season Starts

Women’s Basketball: Cascades open preseason with win over Langara

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team defeated the Langara Falcons 95-28 in their exhibition opener on Saturday evening at the Envision Athletic Centre.

Facing an opponent from the PacWest conference in preparation for their Canada West campaign, the Cascades opened the game on a 7-0 run capped by a Sara Simovic three-pointer and didn’t look back from there. UFV led 22-10 at the end of the first quarter and 47-17 at halftime en route to the decisive victory.

Kayli Sartori, the reigning Canada West scoring champ, was in midseason form, racking up 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field to go with seven rebounds, four assists and five steals. Shayna Litman also scored in double figures for the Cascades with 13 points. Bronte Stark, with eight points, was the top scorer for the Falcons, who were limited to 15.8 per cent shooting from the field as a team.

“I thought it was really positive for our young kids, especially, to get out there today,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer said. “It didn’t matter what the score was – they stayed hungry, and that’s what you want from your young players. They’re trying to prove themselves and develop their roles a little bit, and I thought it was a good first step for them.”

Among the highlights for the Cascades’ first-year players, Katherine Holden (nine points) and Amanda Thompson (eight points) chipped in offensively, Jessica Zawada registered a game-high five assists, and 6’2” walk-on centre Veronica Kobes racked up a game-high 10 rebounds in just 14 minutes.

“Veronica came in really late to our program, and if she can give us two or three minutes a game against some Canada West teams, that’s going to fantastic for us,” Tuchscherer enthused. “Today was great for her. She’s got good hands, she can finish, she’s athletic. She just needs to continue to learn the game, so that was exciting.”

The Cascades had played a pair of exhibition games in August against NCAA Div. 1 squads Wisconsin and Florida Atlantic, but Saturday marked the true start of their preseason. Their next game action is on the road against the Douglas Royals – another PacWest program – on Sept. 30, followed by a trio of games Oct. 6-8 at the Regina Cougars’ preseason tournament.

The team tips off the Canada West regular season Nov. 4-5 at home vs. the Saskatchewan Huskies.

COMPLETE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE

Women’s Soccer: Cascades snuff Heat, win 2-0 on the road

Goals from Gurneet Dhaliwal and Amanda Carruthers, backed by six saves from Kayla Klim, helped the UFV Cascades earn their second straight victory via shutout in Canada West women’s soccer action.

The Cascades, coming off a 3-0 win over the UVic Vikes at home one week ago, hit the road to face the UBC Okanagan Heat on Saturday afternoon in Kelowna and came away with a 2-0 win.

UFV improved to 3-1-2 with the victory, good for third place in the Pacific Division. UBC Okanagan (2-3-0) is sixth in the Pacific.

The Cascades wrap up their road swing on Sunday afternoon vs. the Thompson Rivers WolfPack (1 p.m., canadawest.tv).

“We got the three points, we scored a couple goals, but we need to be better at finishing,” Cascades head coach Rob Giesbrecht analyzed afterward.

“I liked Kayla Klim’s performance today – she came up big when needed. I liked the way she distributed the ball, and she was sure-handed. I was proud of her today, because she gave a captain’s performance. The team in front of her wasn’t playing that well today, but she allowed us to be successful because of her dominance in goal.”

The Cascades had the run of play in the first half, out-shooting the Heat 11-2, but it took them until the 30th minute to break through. Sophomore forward Gurneet Dhaliwal has been in fine form of late – she was named the Canada West second star of the week on Tuesday – and she came through once again. Karlee Pedersen caused a Heat turnover and fed the ball to Dhaliwal at the top of the box, and she unleashed a top-corner strike for her fifth goal of the season, tied for third-most in Canada West.

Carruthers came through with a top-corner effort of her own in the 68th minute to give UFV some breathing room. Dhaliwal picked up an assist on Carruthers’s third goal of the campaign.

The Heat had a better offensive push in the second half, with all six of Klim’s saves coming after the break. It was the fifth-year keeper’s third clean sheet of the season.

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