UFV Sports Saturday

Women’s Basketball: Cascades pick up preseason win over Blues

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team opened a huge halftime lead en route to an exhibition victory over the Capilano Blues on Saturday at the Envision Athletic Centre.

The Cascades shot a scorching 54.1 per cent from the field over the first two quarters, and led their PACWEST opponent 31-6 at the break. The hosts eased off the gas considerably in the second half, finishing off a 54-40 victory.

Shayna Litman paced a balanced UFV attack with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field in 15 minutes of action. Kayli Sartori (11 points), Sydney Williams (nine), Taylor Claggett (eight) and Amanda Thompson (eight) also chipped in offensively.

Carmelle M’Bikata led the Blues with 13 points and six rebounds.

The Cascades continue their preseason on the road next week – they head to Lewiston, Idaho to take on the Lewis-Clark State Warriors, an NAIA program, Oct. 21 and 22.

The UFV basketball teams open the Canada West regular season Nov. 4-5 at home against the Saskatchewan Huskies.

Men’s Basketball: Cascades fall to Pronghorns in preseason

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team dropped a 91-79 decision to the Lethbridge Pronghorns in exhibition action on Saturday evening at the Envision Athletic Centre.

The Cascades performed well offensively, hitting 48.3 per cent of their shots from the field, but the visiting Pronghorns shot a scorching 50.7 per cent, including 7-of-19 from three-point range.

“I think offensively, we played at a pace we want to play at, and we got a solid amount of really good looks,” UFV head coach Adam Friesen said afterward. “This is the best we’ve looked offensively in a while – shooting 48 per cent, we’ll take that. We just have to make sure that defensively, we get a lot better.”

Mike Pierzchala was the Cascades’ nemesis on this night – the Proghorns’ third-year forward racked up a game-high 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field, including 5-of-6 from three-point range. Lethbridge big men Zac Overwater (19 points), DeAngelo Ashley (14) and Elliott Sentance (11) also scored in double figures.

For the Cascades, UVic transfer Andrew Morris had a flawless shooting night, knocking down all seven of his shots from the field – including five triples – en route to a team-high 21 points. Fifth-year point guard Manny Dulay posted 17 points and seven assists, while Matt Cooley chipped in with 14 points. Nav Bains finished a point shy of a double-double with nine points and 14 rebounds.

Friesen senses his team is adjusting to the absence of Kevon Parchment, particularly at the defensive end. The rangy guard, who wrapped up his eligibility last spring, was the 2015-16 Canada West defensive player of the year.

“Right now, we’re just learning we’re in the post-Kevon Parchment defensive life,” Friesen said. “We have a lot of new faces, we have some growing pains that way, and we’re realizing we maybe got away with some stuff the last couple years because we’ve had Kevon.”

The Cascades are back in action on Tuesday, when they take on the PACWEST’s Douglas Royals in an exhibition game at Surrey’s Semiahmoo Secondary. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. The Pronghorns continue their West Coast preseason trip with a Sunday afternoon clash (3 p.m. start) vs. the UBC Thunderbirds.

The UFV basketball teams open the Canada West regular season Nov. 4-5 at home against the Saskatchewan Huskies.

Women’s Soccer: Cascades defeat UBC on the road

In a clash of nationally ranked teams, the University of the Fraser Valley women’s soccer squad came up with an impressive road win, defeating the UBC Thunderbirds 1-0 on Saturday evening.

Playing in windy conditions at Thunderbird Stadium, Amanda Carruthers’s goal in the 33rd minute stood up as the game-winner, and Kayla Klim made four saves for her fourth shutout of the season.

The CIS No. 9-ranked Cascades improved to 8-2-2 and gained sole possession of second place in the Pacific Division. The No. 10-ranked T-Birds (5-3-4) are fourth in the division.

“We showed good character today,” said UFV head coach Rob Giesbrecht, whose squad completed a six-point road weekend following Friday’s 2-1 win over UVic.

“First half, we were excellent. We created so many good chances . . . Monika (Levarsky) and Amanda pressed them really hard in the back and caused them problems, and we were successful creating opportunities for ourselves.”

Carruthers notched her sixth goal of the season off a corner – Gurneet Dhaliwal supplied impeccable service, finding the fourth-year forward at the back post, and Carruthers guided it home.

The Cascades out-shot UBC 13-5 in the first half, and had other high-quality looks. UFV had seven corners and looked dangerous on several, and T-Birds keeper Marlee Maracle also made a spectacular save on Levarsky on a semi-breakaway.

“The second half was pretty even – we had some good chances early,” Giesbrecht said. “There weren’t as many chances for either side in the second half.”

Desiree Caruso stepped into the starting lineup at right back and played 90 excellent minutes, earning player of the game honours for UFV.

“She didn’t put a foot wrong, and I’m really proud of her,” Giesbrecht said. “When your opportunity comes, you’ve got to grab onto it and make the most of it, and she definitely did.”

The Cascades are back in action at home next weekend, hosting the Calgary Dinos on Friday and the Lethbridge Pronghorns on Saturday. Both games kick off at 5:30 p.m. at MRC Sports Complex.

Men’s Soccer: Najman’s goal lifts Cascades past Heat

A moment of brilliance to open the second half was the difference as the University of the Fraser Valley men’s soccer team earned a huge road win over the UBC Okanagan Heat by a score of 1-0 on Saturday afternoon.

The Cascades mounted a lightning-quick offensive off the second-half restart – three passes linked together, and the ball was in the back of the UBCO net. James Najman had the final touch for his second goal of the season, with Michael Mobilio picking up the assist.

UFV out-shot the Heat 14-5, and goalkeeper Alex Skrzeta registered two saves for his fourth clean sheet of the campaign.

It was a crucial victory for the Cascades (6-6-1), who came into Saturday’s action tied for third in the Pacific Division, but just two points ahead of the fifth-place Heat (4-7-2). While the result doesn’t clinch them one of the Pacific’s four playoff berths, it goes a long way towards securing it with three games remaining.

“It’s never easy to come up to the Interior – it’s a tough place to play,” Cascades head coach Tom Lowndes noted. “Today, the result was the most important thing, getting the three points and moving closer to a playoff spot.”

The Cascades came up empty offensively after a solid first half, but their start to the second was the best kind of déjà vu for Lowndes. In last season’s game in Kelowna, the Cascades had scored just 14 seconds after the second-half restart, courtesy Kree Byne, and they went on to win 2-0 to give Lowndes a victory in his UFV head-coaching debut.

It was more of the same on Saturday, as Mobilio whipped a cross to Najman at the back post for a header just 15 seconds after the restart.

“Almost identical to last year,” Lowndes marvelled. “The next 15 minutes, we were rampant – we should have had a couple more.

“We made things difficult for ourselves when we didn’t take our chances, so we had to stand strong and see the game out.”

Daniel Davidson sent a shot off the post, and the Cascades had another ball go off the crossbar after taking a deflection. Connor MacMillan had a great chance to seal the deal in the 85th minute – the fifth-year midfielder stole the ball and got in on a breakaway, but UBCO keeper Mitch McCaw came charging out and stopped his shot.

The Heat pushed forward in search of the equalizer, but the Cascades were able to snuff most of their forays before they reached the penalty area.

The UFV side wraps up its weekend road swing through the B.C. Interior on Sunday, as they take on the Thompson Rivers WolfPack (6-6-1) at 1 p.m. in Kamloops. The game will be webcast at ufv.canadawest.tv.

Women’s Volleyball: Cascades fall to Blues in season opener

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team dropped a three-set decision to the Capilano Blues on Saturday evening to open the PACWEST regular season.

The Cascades looked great at times on their home court, the Envision Athletic Centre, building four-point leads the second set (17-13) and the third set (11-7). But both times, the Blues staged impressive rallies, ultimately winning the match by scores of 25-21, 25-21 and 25-20.

“We have standards we’ve created out of stats from past years, and we know what we want to hit,” UFV head coach Mike Gilray said, noting that his team’s serving and passing were both subpar on Saturday. “When we miss those, it’s hard to beat a team with the ability of Cap. They’re going to take advantage of those errors.”

Saturday’s match was a case of delayed gratification for both squads – they were set to open the regular season on Friday at the EAC, but weather-related power outages resulted in the game’s postponement.

Monique Huber opened the Cascades’ PACWEST campaign with an ace, and she and Mandelyn Erikson formed a formidable duo in the middle for the hosts. Erikson finished with a team-high 10 kills while hitting 79 per cent, going 10-for-13 with no errors. Huber hit 40 per cent en route to five kills.

Libero Amy Davidson paced the UFV defence with 14 digs, but Gilray pointed out that his squad struggled with passing as a group.

“When we were in system tonight, we were doing some amazing things,” he said. “Our middles were outstanding, and for our middles to do well, you have to pass the ball well. What one of our coaches pointed out today was, we were either passing it well or really poorly. We had no middle balls. . . . Giving a team like Cap that many opportunities to score with free balls, they’re going to take advantage of that, and I think that’s what happened in those lulls (in the second and third sets). We just got away from consistency.”

Erikson said that Friday’s postponement caused “a lot of antsiness” in the team.

“It was a bit of a letdown, because I think we were all hyped up, and I think some of that hype might have turned into nerves overnight,” she said. “We were so excited, and we’re not used to not doing anything in a day – we didn’t practice, we didn’t play.

“We’re not going to use the excuse that it was our first game or anything, but we all haven’t really played together on the court (in PACWEST play) yet, so that was a big eye opener – things we did well and things we need to work on.”

The Cascades volleyball teams are back in action next weekend with a home-and-home set vs. the Columbia Bible College Bearcats, their crosstown rival. The two teams play Thursday at CBC and Friday at UFV – women at 6 p.m., men at 8 p.m. both nights.

Men’s Volleyball: Cascades finish strong, beat Blues in four sets

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team got its season started off on the right foot, defeating the Capilano Blues in four sets at the Envision Athletic Centre on Saturday evening.

The PACWEST regular-season opener for both teams went the Cascades’ way by scores of 28-26, 24-26, 25-12 and 27-25.

Though the hosts took two of the three sets which went beyond the prescribed 25-point threshold, UFV head coach Kyle Donen wasn’t thrilled with the way his team allowed Capilano to rally in both the first and second sets. The Cascades held a 24-20 lead in the first, only to let the Blues back into it before salvaging a two-point victory. In the second set, they weren’t so fortunate – Capilano prevailed after UFV allowed a late two-point lead to slip away.

After blowing out the Blues in the third set, the Cascades came up clutch in the closely contested fourth, with Joel Kleingeltink pounding down his team-leading 15th kill of the night to seal the victory.

“We just need to do a better job of recognizing that killer instinct that we need to have to finish sets off,” Donen said afterward. “They’re a scrappy defensive team, and they’re going to get some defensive stops . . . we just need to do a better job of finishing things off when we have that opportunity. I think we did a better job of that in the fourth set, but we definitely could have improved on that in the first couple.

“There were some good things to the game – some of the simpler parts of the game could have been improved upon, though.”

In addition to his 15 kills, fifth-year right side Kleingeltink rang up five blocks and two aces. Left sides Ben Friesen (seven kills) and Nick Bruce (seven kills) and middle Dayton Pagliericci (six kills, two aces) also had solid offensive performances for the hosts.

It was a special night for Friesen – the Cascades sophomore was across the net from his twin brother Simon, the Blues’ starting setter.

“It’s a lot of fun to band together with the guys on your own team and play against the guy you’ve known for your whole life,” Ben Friesen said with a smile. “It’s just like we’re in the back yard playing against each other over the net, one-on-one. It’s a lot of fun.”

The Cascades volleyball teams are back in action next weekend with a home-and-home set vs. the Columbia Bible College Bearcats, their crosstown rival. The two teams play Thursday at CBC and Friday at UFV – women at 6 p.m., men at 8 p.m. both nights.

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