UFV Sports Saturday – Basketball Season Openers, Volleyball, Soccer

Women’s Volleyball: Hieltjes highlights Cascades’ victory over Camosun with 14 kills

A dynamic day for Hanna Hieltjes powered the University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team to a four-set triumph on the road Saturday over the Camosun Chargers.

Hieltjes, a third-year middle from New Westminster, B.C., racked up a career-high 14 kills on just 22 swings with only one error, for a scorching .591 hitting percentage. She sparked the Cascades to victory by scores of 25-22, 25-16, 22-25, 25-20.

The result gave UFV a split of the weekend set, coming on the heels of a four-set win for the Chargers on Friday. The two teams wrap up the weekend where they began – tied for fourth place in the PACWEST with matching records (3-3).

“We were very heavy to the outside last night, and we know we have workhorses out there,” Cascades head coach Mike Gilray said, alluding to Amanda Matsui and Kim Bauder. “But to give them opportunities to score, we need to be a balanced offence. Our middles couldn’t get engaged yesterday, so that was one of our goals. Hanna only had six total attempts yesterday, and she had 22 today.”

The production of Hieltjes in the middle more than made up for the fact that the Chargers were able to limit Cascades total offence leader Matsui to a season-low three kills. Right side Lexi Edwards also had an outstanding game for UFV, notching nine kills and four aces, and hitting .412. Bauder matched Edwards’s nine kills and added 13 digs and three aces, and setter Kara Williams dished out 36 assists.

Mika Yamada paced the Chargers’ attack with 12 kills.

The Cascades volleyball teams are back in action next weekend as they take on the Douglas Royals in a home-and-home set. Games run Friday at UFV’s Envision Financial Athletic Centre (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.), and the scene shifts to Douglas on Saturday (women 1 p.m., men 3 p.m.).

Men’s Volleyball: Shorthanded Cascades drop hard-fought four-set decision to Camosun

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team turned in a gritty effort on the road, but the Camosun Chargers fended them off in four sets on Saturday afternoon in Victoria.

For the second straight day, both of the Cascades’ setters – Adam Frederickson and Bobby Blaskovits – were sidelined, forcing UFV head coach Kyle Donen to shift star outside hitter Ben Friesen to the setter spot.

The Cascades had a tough go of it on Friday, falling in three straight sets to the four-time reigning PACWEST champs, but they were much more cohesive in Saturday’s rematch. Set scores were 25-12, 14-25, 25-15, 26-24.

“Other than the first set, which was really bad, we responded well,” UFV head coach Kyle Donen said. “We played incredibly well in the second set, and it was that kind of game where it was back and forth. We had our chances to take it in the fourth, but unfortunately we fell a little bit short. But nothing to be disappointed with, considering how we battled and considering the changes we had to make.”

Matt Whittall was the Cascades’ chief offensive threat with Friesen in the playmaking role, and he racked up 13 kills and hit .258. Friesen registered 29 set assists as part of what Donen termed an “incredible weekend”, and 6’10” sophomore middle Ian Jagersma earned plaudits from the head coach after posting six kills, four solo blocks, and five digs.

“Ian had his most complete game of the season,” Donen said. “He did a little bit of everything, and it’s good to see a young guy doing that and contributing.”

Eduardo Bida (12 kills) and Vitor Periera (10 kills) set the pace for the Chargers.

The Cascades volleyball teams are back in action next weekend as they take on the Douglas Royals in a home-and-home set. Games run Friday at UFV’s Envision Financial Athletic Centre (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.), and the scene shifts to Douglas on Saturday (women 1 p.m., men 3 p.m.).

Women’s Basketball: Thompson, Claggett lead the charge as Cascades complete sweep of WolfPack

For the second consecutive evening, the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team got off to a hot start on their way to a double-digit victory over the Thompson Rivers WolfPack.

The Cascades shot 72.7 per cent from the field (8-for-11) in the first quarter as they built a 24-18 lead, reminiscent of their start in Friday’s 62-50 triumph over the WolfPack. They stretched the lead to 37-28 at the break, and kept Thompson Rivers at bay throughout the second half en route to a 58-44 triumph.

UFV boasts a 2-0 record in the aftermath of opening weekend, while TRU is 0-2.

That said, Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer wasn’t entirely thrilled with Saturday’s performance noting that his team’s offensive output decreased by quarter: 24, 13, 12 and 9.

“We had a great start to the game offensively, and as the game went on, we got a little bit selfish,” he said. “Our attention to detail wasn’t fantastic, so our execution wasn’t very good, and defensively we had some breakdowns. But those are lessons we’re going to have to learn.”

Amanda Thompson was the spark in the Cascades’ scorching start at the offensive end. She scored 11 points in the first quarter, highlighted by a trio of three-pointers, and she would finish the night with 16 points on 4-of-5 shooting from downtown.

Taylor Claggett, coming off a 21-point effort in Friday’s opener, continued her strong play in the rematch. She scored 19 points in exceedingly efficient fashion, going 4-for-6 from the field and 11-of-15 from the free throw line. She also hauled down a team-high eight rebounds.

For the WolfPack, Jordon Haggerty notched a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Leilani Carney also scored in double figures with 12.

While the Cascades didn’t carry over their scalding first-quarter shooting for the entire game, they finished at 38.8 per cent – markedly better than the frosty 23.6 per cent the WolfPack managed.

“We have to shoot the ball better,” TRU head coach Scott Reeves said. “We get the same number of shots, we get the same-looking shots, ours just don’t go in. We have to get in the gym and work extremely hard.

“Our defence did get better as the game went on. He (Tuchscherer) made some adjustments, and we adjusted to those. I was happy with our defensive effort and energy – I think we need to talk more to be even better. And again, they just shot the ball extremely well in the first quarter and got a little bit of a lead on us. Full credit to them – they were ready to play hard this weekend in their home opener, and they shot the ball extremely well. If they can shoot it that well all year long, they’re going to be in every game.”

The Cascades are on the road next weekend to face the Saskatchewan Huskies, while the WolfPack are on a bye and return to action Nov. 9-10 for their home openers vs. UVic.

Men’s Basketball: Cascades stymie WolfPack’s late push, ride balanced attack to victory

After losing in gut-wrenching fashion in their season opener, the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team was determined not to go through that experience again.

The Cascades turned in a gritty, team-oriented performance, fending off a furious fourth-quarter comeback by the Thompson Rivers WolfPack to prevail 83-72 at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

The WolfPack (1-1) had stunned the Cascades (1-1) on Friday, going the length of the court for a game-tying triple by Enrico Nuno in the dying seconds of regulation to force overtime, and going on to a 69-64 win.

The Cascades bounced back thanks to a balanced attack, with five players scoring in double figures on Saturday: Parm Bains (18 points), Mark Johnson (14), Sukhjot Bains (12), Daniel Adediran (12) and Sukhman Sandhu (11).

Michael Rouault scored a game-high 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting to pace the WolfPack, and Derek Rhodes and Joe Davis chipped in with 16 and 15 points, respectively.

“The biggest takeaway for me from this game was that we showed the character we showed, rebounding from Friday night,” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen said afterward. “We came back even harder, even more determined, even more together.

“As a group, they were determined to get this win, and whatever it took to get it done, they were willing to do. TRU made the run we were expecting them to make (in the fourth quarter) – they’re a really good team. But our guys stood together and kept battling, and found a way to pull it out.”

The Cascades seized control of the proceedings thanks to an 11-2 run midway through the first quarter, capped by a Daniel Adediran dunk, and they led 24-15 after 10 minutes of play. The hosts expanded the lead to as many as 14 points in the second quarter, and led 45-38 at halftime.

UFV led by as many as 20 points in the third, going up 68-48 with 1:56 left in the frame on a Nav Bains jump shot. But the WolfPack mounted an impressive push-back, outscoring the Cascades 18-2 on a run that bridged the third and fourth quarters.

But with 4:20 left in regulation and his team having gone scoreless for over five minutes, Mark Johnson swished a corner three-pointer off some excellent ball movement, Parm Bains followed with a baseline runner, and Sukhjot Bains nailed a pair of triples to salt the game away.

Nav Bains, the Cascades’ fifth-year veteran centre, came off the bench with 4:36 left on the clock, and his energy and rugged play in the paint were vital. He finished with nine points and five boards in 16 minutes.

“He gives us energy, toughness and leadership,” Friesen said. “When they were on their run, even though we took away some shooting with Sukhman (Sandhu subbing out), we knew Nav’s energy and toughness and determination that he brings to the whole group is what we needed at that time. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that their run seemed to stop once Nav got into the game.”

TRU head coach Scott Clark said his team dug itself “way too big a hole.”

“We just didn’t have the toughness to win on the road today,” he said. “There were too many mistakes. Fraser Valley is a really good basketball team, and you can’t make a bunch of mistakes against good basketball teams. We did that, and full credit to them. Their energy and effort was great. We got what we deserved and they got what they deserved.”

The Cascades are on the road next weekend to face the Saskatchewan Huskies, while the WolfPack are on a bye and return to action Nov. 9-10 for their home openers vs. UVic.

Women’s Soccer: Cascades push No. 1-ranked Spartans to the limit, fall 1-0 in OT

Langley – – with files from Mark Janzen, TWU Athletics – The University of the Fraser Valley women’s soccer team put a mighty scare into the nation’s top-ranked team, but the Trinity Western Spartans were able to fend off the Cascades’ upset bid and prevail 1-0 in overtime on Saturday evening in Langley.

Rachel Hutchinson’s goal in the 107th minute was the difference in the Canada West quarter-final clash between local rivals, sending the Spartans on to the Final Four while ending the Cascades’ 2018 campaign.

“It’s not the time of year for moral victories, so we’re gutted to have our season end tonight,” UFV head coach Rob Giesbrecht said.

“It’s a scary game when you’re fending off that team, because they’re pretty loaded. But I’m so proud of my team and their progress.”

The Spartans got things started quickly, nearly opening the scoring in the first minute when Kat Harvey had a point-blank chance that was stopped by the Cascades’ Joven Sandhu. It was a sign of things to come, as UFV’s sophomore goalkeeper would go on to have an outstanding performance.

Shortly thereafter, UFV’s Harneet Dadrao put an in-tight shot just wide of the TWU net for what was arguably the visitors’ best chance of the opening half.

TWU had a number of chances throughout the opening 45 minutes, including back-to-back shots on goal from Jenaya Robertson in the 20th minute, but both were stopped by Sandhu.

The Spartans outshot the Cascades 8-2 and had a 5-1 edge in shots on goal in the first half but Sandhu was up to the task on several occasions, keeping the game scoreless.

Both teams had chances in the second half, with the Cascades showing more go-forward early on, forcing Rachel Sydor to make a few key saves. At the other end of the park, the Spartans came close on more than one occasion, including an early chance that sliced through the middle of the box off the foot of Seina Kashima but the Spartans couldn’t get on the end of it.

In the 68th minute, the Cascades nearly found a loose ball just a few yards off the goal line, but a sliding Kat Chin knocked the ball to safety for the Spartans.

The Cascades’ Jashan Sandhar had a wonderful chance in the 86th minute, zipping down the right side of the field and breaking in on Sydor, but she sent her shot just wide of the left post.

Fraser Valley continued to push for the winner in the late stages, finishing the second half tied 2-2 in shots on goal.

Sandhu was at her best in overtime, holding TWU off the board until Hutchinson finally broke through in the early stages of the second OT. She took a pass from Kashima on the right flank and slotted it home to the low left corner.

The victory marked a bit of déjà vu, as it was also Hutchinson scoring the lone goal in TWU’s quarter-final win over UFV last year.

Sandhu finished with 11 saves, including several of the highlight-reel variety, and was named the Cascades’ player of the game.

“It was just a lot of positive play (in the second half and OT), and that’s something we need to work on – turning positive play into quality chances,” Giesbrecht said.

“We’re a young team, and throughout this season, week by week we’ve put the work in and girls have started believing more and more in themselves. We’re starting to get results against good teams, and we were close tonight against the No. 1 team in the country. It’s exciting for the future because of our youth.”

Men’s Soccer: Keeper Hicks dominates PK shootout, Cascades top Huskies to earn Final Four berth

Saskatoon – – with files from Cameron Doherty, Huskies Athletics – David Hicks, Tammer Byrne and the University of the Fraser Valley men’s soccer team punched their tickets to the Canada West Final Four in heart-stopping fashion, outlasting the Saskatchewan Huskies in penalty kicks on Saturday evening in Saskatoon.

The two tames battled to a scoreless stalemate through 90 minutes of regulation, necessitating two 15-minute halves of extra time. Rookie striker Andrew Peat gave the Cascades the lead in the 95th minute, but Sask’s Nikolas Baikas scored from a thunderous volley in the 120th minute, mere moments from the final whistle, to send the game to PKs.

At that stage, UFV fifth-year keeper David Hicks took over. The Cascades were well aware of his PK prowess – he’d turned aside two of three attempts from the penalty spot during the regular season. The Huskies found out the hard way, as Hicks stoned them on three of their four attempts.

On the other side, Anthony Vega, Parman Minhas and Cascades captain Byrne converted from the spot – Byrne’s shot into the bottom right corner clinched a 3-1 win in the shootout for the visitors.

“I don’t know, over the past couple weeks, how much more my heart can take,” UFV head coach Tom Lowndes said with a wry chuckle afterward. “But the boys were awesome tonight. They were immense. They were heroic in every sense of the word. We came to a very tough place to play, and they found a way to win.

“It would have been very easy for us to hang our heads after conceding a late, late, late equalizer, but they didn’t. We got some great saves from David Hicks, and we got the job done.”

After 90 minutes of scoreless soccer, overtime brought both teams out their shells, with the Huskies and Cascades piling up the scoring opportunities. The breakthrough came from the foot of Peat. A great ball forward from Gurmaan Jhaj found Peat in stride and he made no mistake in scoring the opening goal of the game.

The Huskies’ deficit was compounded when they were reduced to ten men after a red card was issued to Kwame Opoku in the 105th minute.

Fraser Valley was able to keep the ball away from dangerous areas for much of the second half of overtime before Baikas’s wonder-strike in the final minute of play. A long throw-in from Mason Ogoke was headed high into the air by a Cascades defender and Baikas was able to find some space and volley the ball from just inside the 18-yard box and into the top corner to ensure that the marathon game would have the most dramatic ending possible.

Hicks thoroughly dominated the penalty-kick portion of the evening, saving shots from Ogoke, Gabriel Buatois and Tyler Redl, with Baikas the lone Sask shooter to solve him. His counterpart Greg Buckley responded with a save on Peat, and benefitted from some good fortune as Jhaj sent his attempt over the crossbar. But Vega and Parman Minhas were good on their attempts, setting the stage for Byrne to clinch the victory leading off the fifth round.

Byrne is a two-time Canada West all-star, but as a centre back, he’s known more for his goal suppression than his scoring. Nevertheless, he stepped up and slotted it home like a veteran striker, setting off the UFV celebration.

“We asked the guys who wanted a pen, and Tammer was one of the first ones,” Lowndes explained. “We sorted out the order, and he was there in fifth.

“Mike (Newton, Cascades assistant coach) and I couldn’t watch – we turned away, looking into the stands, waiting to hear the boys’ reaction. It was great to hear them cheer in the end.”

And as for Hicks?

“I said to the boys (before the shootout), ‘You know how good Hicks is at pens? I think three out of five wins it for us,’” Lowndes related. “He was immense tonight. He was excellent.”

The UFV side advances to the Canada West Final Four at UBC, where they’ll face the host Thunderbirds in the semifinals. The schedule has yet to be determined.

It’s the third trip to the CW Final Four for the Cascades men’s soccer program, with previous trips in 2013 and 2015 netting conference bronze medals.

The Cascades, coming off a 2017 season which saw them miss the playoffs for the first time in four seasons, were voted No. 11 out of 13 teams in the Canada West coaches poll this fall . . . a fact Lowndes didn’t let them forget. He laminated the preseason ranking and posted it on the wall of their locker room at MRC Sports Complex.

“The boys used the preseason rankings this year – we were picked to finish 11th out of 13 teams, and they took that personally,” Lowndes said. “We’ve had one bad year, and suddenly we’re 11 out of 13? It’s fantastic that through their hard work, they’ve proved that we’re nowhere near the estimation of that poll.”

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