Men’s Basketball: T-Birds complete weekend sweep of Cascades
(with files from Jeff Sargeant, UBC Athletics)
For the second straight night, a big second-quarter push powered the UBC Thunderbirds to victory over the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team at War Memorial Gym.
On Friday, the host T-Birds had fashioned a 28-5 run in the second stanza to seize control en route to a 111-78 win over the Cascades. In Saturday’s rematch, UBC outscored UFV 28-10 in the second, and went on to prevail 105-64.
The T-Birds shot 50 percent from the field and got 57 of their points from their bench, while the Cascades shot a reasonable 41.4 per cent but lost the rebounding battle 46-30.
“The game was very similar to yesterday,” UFV head coach Adam Friesen said. “Our consistency of play isn’t there, and right now we just can’t stop a run very well. Once we start struggling, we’re not able to get ourselves out of the hole.”
The Cascades basketball teams are back at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre this coming weekend for their regular-season home openers, Nov. 3-4 vs. the Mount Royal Cougars.
On Saturday, the Cascades stuck with the T-Birds until late in the first quarter, when UBC went on a 7-2 run to take a 24-16 lead. UBC opened the second quarter on a 9-0 run, and put together a 12-0 surge later in the frame to take control.
Mark Johnson was a bright spot for the Cascades – the fourth-year forward from Palm Springs, Calif. accrued his team-high 17 points in efficient fashion, shooting 5-of-10 from the field, 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, and 5-for-5 from the foul line.
“It was great to see him play well,” Friesen said of Johnson. “He showed a lot of leadership, and really came ready to play and give his best effort.”
Sukhman Sandhu registered 11 points, six rebounds and two blocks in 22 minutes off the bench, and fellow sophomore Riley Braich posted 10 points and five boards for the Cascades.
UBC’s Grant Shephard registered 17 points, 10 rebounds and four steals, and Grant Audu chipped in with 14 points.
Women’s Basketball: Offence slow to materialize as Cascades fall to Thunderbirds
Game-long shooting struggles sank the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team on Saturday evening in Vancouver, as they dropped a 69-49 decision to the UBC Thunderbirds.
The Cascades turned in a solid defensive effort, holding the T-Birds to 37.5 per cent shooting from the field and limiting All-Canadian Maddison Penn to 15 points. But UFV shot just 24.1 per cent from the field themselves, which allowed UBC – coming off a 71-62 win over the Cascades the night before – plenty of margin for error as they completed the weekend sweep.
“We had a real hard time scoring tonight,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer noted. “It wasn’t for a lack of quality looks, it’s just a bunch of kids who aren’t playing with a lot of confidence right now, and it’s tough to play that way. They’re not making shots they normally would. I feel bad for them – the effort is there, but nothing’s going in, and it kind of snowballs on you . . . It’s contagious a little bit. I don’t know what the science is on that, but it sure seems like it.
“We’re going to have to get in the gym this week and build some confidence.”
The T-Birds (2-0) staked out a 17-9 advantage after the first quarter, and led 30-19 at the half. The Cascades outscored UBC 16-15 in the third quarter to remain within striking distance heading to the final frame, but the hosts pulled away down the stretch.
Taylor Claggett’s 13 points and nine rebounds were both team-high totals for the Cascades, and Shayna Litman registered 10 points and eight boards. Amanda Thompson posted seven points and three assists, and rookie forward Katelyn Mallette had six points and four rebounds off the bench in what Tuchscherer termed a “fantastic” performance.
Keylyn Filewich paced the T-Birds with 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Penn added 10 boards to her 15 points for a double-double of her own. Jessica Hansen also scored 15 points for UBC.
The Cascades basketball teams’ regular-season home openers are this coming weekend, Nov. 3-4 vs. the Mount Royal Cougars at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.
Women’s Soccer: Spartans edge Cascades on late goal in Canada West quarter-final
Rachel Hutchinson’s goal in the 76th minute was the difference as the Trinity Western Spartans edged the University of the Fraser Valley women’s soccer team 1-0 in the Canada West quarter-finals on Saturday.
At Chase Office Field on TWU’s Langley campus, the Cascades put in a gritty effort against the No. 5-ranked team in the nation, defending with poise and marshalling some dangerous offensive forays of their own. But they were unable to find the finishing touch in the final third, and Hutchinson broke through in the late going to end UFV’s season and send the Spartans on to the Canada West Final Four.
“I’m super-proud – we played against a good team tonight, and we battled hard and we frustrated them,” Cascades head coach Rob Giesbrecht said afterward. “We gave it our all, and we can walk off this park proud – heads up, shoulders back. I asked the girls to give everything they had, and they did.”
The Spartans had defeated the Cascades in decisive fashion in both regular-season match-ups – 5-0 on Oct. 6 in Langley, and 4-0 on Oct. 8 in Abbotsford. The UFV side played with much more poise and confidence on Saturday, and they started brightly. Early on, Brittney Zacharuk launched a terrific through ball that found Amanda Carruthers in stride, but she was unable to gain control and get a shot on target.
The Spartans were more dangerous going forward as the first half wore on. In the 24th minute, Hutchinson found some room on the right side, but sent her shot wide. Shortly thereafter, Cascades keeper Emily Harold dove to her left to snare Amy Gartke’s header.
TWU outshot the Cascades 8-1 in the second half, but UFV had a close call in the 62nd minute when Zacharuk sent a high-arcing cross into the path of Mackenzie Toop. The rookie midfielder knocked the ball down, but wasn’t able to get another touch before Trinity keeper Christina Olivierio smothered it.
The Spartans finally cracked the Cascades’ defence in the 76th. Harold leaped to her left to push a Spartans shot just wide of the far post, but Danae Derksen was there to send the ball back into the centre of the box for Hutchinson to finish from point-blank range.
“It’s a good learning experience, again, as most of the year has been,” Giesbrecht said. “In the post-season you don’t want to learn lessons, you want to win games, so it is disappointing to walk out here and our season ends tonight. But I’m really excited for the future of this team. It sucks for our fifth-year players, but we went down swinging, and that’s all I can ask of my team. We were resilient throughout the whole match.
“The shot totals might be heavy the one way (14-4 in favour of TWU), but they didn’t get that many chances. We were looking to be a bit better in the final third to give ourselves a chance, but I think we spent so much time defending, it was tough.”
Wrestling: Veteran Hildenbrandt, rookie Torres lead the way at Dino Invitational
The University of the Fraser Valley wrestling program turned in a solid performance at the season-opening Dino Invitational in Calgary on Saturday, earning a combined five individual medals.
Third-year Cascade Brad Hildenbrandt and rookie Jacob Torres provided the highlights, each earning a gold medal in their respective weight classes. Reigning Canada West and U SPORTS champion Hildenbrandt’s triumph in the heavyweight (120 kg) division was hardly an eyebrow-raiser, but Torres’s triumph at 61 kg was a very positive sign for a young UFV squad.
“It’s exciting to see an 18-year-old kid beating 20, 21, and 22-year-old guys,” Cascades head coach Raj Virdi said of Torres, a Brampton, Ont. product. “It’s great for him.
“Overall, with our team being really young, they’re showing a lot of promise. It’s good to see our young athletes having success.”
Fellow rookies Parker McBride (54 kg) and Karan Dhillon (72 kg) earned bronze medals for the UFV men’s team. McBride had a great shot at gold, but was sidelined midway through the tournament due to injury. Dhillon’s podium performance, meanwhile, was a “huge surprise” according to Virdi.
“He has a very unorthodox style that very few people have seen, but it works for him,” Virdi said.
The Cascades also had top-five finishes on the men’s side from Amtoj Dhaliwal (fourth, 82 kg), De’Andre Williams (fourth, 76 kg), Haseeb Javed (fourth, 68 kg) and Kamil Golowko (fifth, 100 kg).
On the women’s side, Karla Godinez Gonzalez won the silver medal at 55 kg. Last season’s Canada West rookie of the year suffered her lone loss via pin vs. Lauren Mason of Simon Fraser University.
Cascades rookie Glaysia Sparling finished fourth in an extremely tough 82 kg weight class – the bracket included 2016 Olympic gold medalist Erica Wiebe.
Up next on the schedule for the UFV wrestling program is the SFU Clan International next Saturday, Nov. 4.
Men’s Volleyball: Cascade bounce back for five-set win over Chargers
(Raelyn O’Hara, UFV student communications assistant)
The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team played its best offensive game of the season on Saturday afternoon, rallying for a five-set victory over the Camosun Chargers at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.
It was the second straight day the two teams had battled all the way to five sets – Camosun had won the opener on Friday.
The first set in Saturday’s rematch consisted of long point-for-point rallies, with the Chargers surging ahead late to win 25-21. The Cascades turned it around in the second to take a 25-23 win but fell behind early in the third, and Camosun took it 25-19. UFV leveled the match 25-21 in the fourth, and continued that momentum in the fifth, prevailing 15-11.
UFV improved to 2-4, while Camosun fell to 4-2.
“I think the weekend was a turning point for our season,” Cascades head coach Kyle Donen said. “The result that we got today was a better one, and I think having the feeling of the win will help. It was huge for us.
“The things we tried to do better were better; offensively it was the best weekend we have had all year.”
After the Chargers claimed the first set, the Cascades clawed out a two-point win in the second with left side Nick Bruce and right side Graeme Hughes spearheading the attack.
Camosun raced out to a 5-1 lead in the third set, but the Cascades hung around thanks to strong offensive contributions from Bruce, Hughes and Josh Fefchak. The visitors, though, were able to pull away late.
The Cascades built a 16-11 lead in the fourth, with captain Ben Friesen doing some outstanding work defensively. Chargers left side Jerome Cross caused trouble for UFV, but Cascades put a three-man block on him and were able to square the match once again.
In the fifth, Camosun built a slender 8-7 lead, but two kills from Hughes and a pair of Chargers hitting errors helped the hosts pull away and secure the victory.
Left sides Bruce (20 kills, three aces, nine digs) and Friesen (18 kills, two aces, 13 digs) both had terrific all-around performances for the Cascades. It was Bruce’s second straight game with at least 20 kills, after a 27-kill effort on Friday. Hughes joined them in double-figure kills with 13.
The Cascades volleyball teams now head into their bye week, and return to game action Nov. 10-11 at home vs. the Douglas Royals.
WVB: Cascades cruise past Chargers in three straight sets
(Raelyn O’Hara, UFV student communications assistant)
In their most dominant performance of the season to date, the University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team wrapped up a weekend sweep of the Camosun Chargers on Saturday afternoon at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.
The Cascades came out firing, taking the first and second sets by matching scores of 25-14, and kept the momentum flowing in the third, winning 25-11.
The Cascades (5-1) picked up their PACWEST-leading fifth win of the season, while the Chargers (0-6) remain winless.
“I thought we did a great job of recycling the ball and keeping our errors down,” said Cascades head coach Mike Gilray. “We really allowed for our blocks and defence to score.”
“We had some rookies come in throughout the game, because the whole team works hard and we want to reward them for it. Everyone exceeded our expectations.”
Kim Bauder served the Cascades to a quick three-point lead in the first set, and they stretched it to 10-3 and pulled away from there behind a series of kills from Amanda Matsui and tough blocking from setter Kara Williams and middle Monique Huber.
The Chargers came out with more energy in the second set, but Matsui served UFV to another 10-3 lead with Cassidy Pearson and Teagan Johnstone providing some powerful attacks. A remarkable save by Huber allowed the Cascades to extend their advantage to 15-5, and Chelsea Kidd closed out the set with a kill.
The Cascades gained some separation midway through the third set behind the attacking prowess of Bauder and Johnstone, and a strong turn at the service line by Pearson put UFV up 18-9. Rookie middle Lauren Poirier put away a kill for the final point of the match.
Bauder led the defence with 10 digs and added seven kills. The third-year left side also helped spearhead a strong serving game – she, Huber and Matsui each had three aces.
The Cascades volleyball teams head into their bye week, and return to game action Nov. 10-11 at home vs. the Douglas Royals.
ROWING: Solid showings for Cascades at Western Canadian Championships
The University of the Fraser Valley rowing club turned in a series of solid results at the Western Canadian Rowing Championships, hosted on Saturday by the Victoria Vikes on Elk Lake.
Heading into the regatta, Cascades head coach Liz Chisholm noted that with teams allowed to enter up to four boats in each category, it would be tremendously difficult to qualify for the A finals. The host Vikes and UBC Thunderbirds, after all, boast rosters laden with national team rowers and are national university banner winners many times over.
“Our goal was to hit the top of the B final – to be the top of the remaining Western Canadian crews,” Chisholm explained. “There were probably a minimum of 10 Olympians and World Championship winners in UBC and UVic’s boats. When we got down to the B final, the biggest thing was, who’s going to be the top UFV boat and go on to represent us at the Canadian University Championships.”
The Cascades had two boats entered in both the men’s and women’s pairs events, and while they didn’t win their respective B finals, they did finish ahead of all other universities outside of the front-running Vikes and T-Birds.
In the women’s pair, the UFV duo of Angelica Evans and Michelle Olive finished second in the B final to a UVic entry in a time of 8:10.83, and teammates Karen Chung and Erin Steele (8:19.31) finished just behind them in third place.
The Cascades also fashioned a two-three finish in the men’s pair B final behind a Victoria boat, with Stephen Wall and Mitchell Wierks (7:14.69) taking second place ahead of teammates Graeson Lounsbury and Clayton DeVries (7:19.29). It was an extremely fast B final; both UFV boats’ times would have been good for third in the A event.
In the lightweight men’s double, the Cascades’ Kyle Fischer and Andrew Stahl finished seventh in a combined A/B final in a time of 7:32.72. UFV’s novice rowing club also participated in the championship, finishing sixth in the novice women’s 8+.
Up next for the Cascades rowers is the Canadian University Rowing Championships, which will be contested Saturday and Sunday at Burnaby Lake. Wall and Wierks earned the right to represent UFV in the men’s pair at that event by virtue of edging the other Cascades boat at the Western Canadians, and UFV’s three eligible women’s pairs rowers – Olive, Chung and Steele – will seat-race this week to determine the makeup of the women’s pair entry at the championship.