UFV Sports Saturday – Basketball Road Trip In Edmonton Continues, Volleyball

Men’s Basketball: Rebounding, turnovers the difference as Cascades grind out gritty road win over Griffins

Edmonton (with files from Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics) – The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team sealed its first weekend sweep of the season, building a big lead in the fourth quarter and hanging on for an 84-80 victory over the MacEwan Griffins on Saturday in Edmonton.

The Cascades, 94-79 victors in Friday’s opener, started slowly in the rematch – they shot just 26.5 per cent from the field in the first half, but nevertheless managed to build a one-point lead (32-31) at the break.

The UFV offence perked up somewhat after halftime – they shot 43.2 per cent the rest of the way, and led by as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter before the Griffins made a push in the dying minutes.

The win got the Cascades back to .500 in Canada West play at 4-4, while MacEwan fell to 0-8.

“Not a pretty win, but that is life on the road sometimes,” UFV bench boss Adam Friesen said afterward. “Really proud of the boys being committed to grinding out every possession. The work we did on the defensive end, on the boards, and limiting our turnovers went a long way to securing this victory.”

While the first half was indeed a grind for the Cascades, Sukhjot Bains sparked a third-quarter surge that put the visitors in control. He scored eight points, including a pair of three-pointers, in a 13-1 run that gave UFV a 51-37 lead with just over three minutes left in the frame.

A racehorse had nothing on the pace of the fourth quarter. Between UFV’s electric point guard Parm Bains and his dizzying collection of stutter-steps and star British import Jake Notice’s crafty repertoire of inside and outside creation for the home side, fans were treated to a wild final 10 minutes.

Parm Bains scored four points during a critical 8-2 run that put UFV up 73-58 with five minutes left in regulation, but Notice and the Griffins hit five treys down the stretch and shot 68.4 per cent in the frame to make things interesting. But it proved too little, too late, as UFV countered MacEwan’s furious trey storm with their forte: quick baskets in transition.

“Transition for us is always huge,” said Friesen. “That’s by far our greatest strength offensively. That starts with getting stops. I thought we did a decent job of that.

“As a group, we have some great leaders. We weren’t overly pleased with the first half energy-wise. Our fifth-years really stepped up and challenged the group to play with a little bit more energy and heart. Usually when you do that, good things happen.”

Mark Johnson led the Cascades with a double-double (20 points and 10 rebounds), while Sukhjot Bains finished with 15 points and seven boards. Parm Bains chipped in 12 points and six assists, setting the table for what UFV wanted to do.

Notice led the Griffins with 24 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals. Atlas St. Paul Butler had 16 points off the bench, while Liban Yousef added 11.

MacEwan had a more efficient night shooting the ball, hitting 46.8 per cent from the field, compared to UFV’s 35.2 per cent mark for the game. But the Cascades generated extra possessions by decisively winning the turnover and rebounding battles. They gave the ball away just 11 times to the Griffins’ 20, and owned the boards by a 41-30 count.

The Cascades basketball teams are back in action at home next weekend, hosting the UNBC Timberwolves in a Friday-Saturday set at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

Women’s Basketball: Shots don’t fall for Cascades, Griffins prevail 63-62

Edmonton (with files from Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics) – An ice-cold shooting performance cost the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team on Saturday evening in Edmonton, as they dropped a 63-62 decision to the MacEwan Griffins.

The Cascades shot just 29.3 per cent from the field, including 20.7 per cent (6-for-29) from beyond the arc. The Griffins didn’t fare much better (32.4 per cent from the field), but they did enough to boost their record to 2-6 in Canada West play while dropping UFV to 3-5.

“For the majority of the game, we did get the shots we wanted to get,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer analyzed. “We did a pretty good job of sharing the ball. But sometimes we over-pass and sometimes we pass up some good looks, and other times we just don’t knock them down. The combination of those things is tough to overcome. And then when the game’s on the line, we’re not great at manufacturing points.”

The Cascades started reasonably well – they led 16-15 at the end of the first quarter, then opened the second on an 11-3 run capped by a Taylor Claggett jump shot to seize a 27-18 lead.

The Griffins, though, responded with a 9-0 run of their own midway through the frame, and the Cascades required a triple from Abby Zawada to maintain a 33-32 lead at halftime.

MacEwan carried that momentum into the third quarter, surging ahead by as many as seven points, but the Cascades reeled them in. Zawada twice knocked down three-pointers with less than five minutes left in regulation, giving UFV a two-point advantage each time, but the Griffins responded with treys of their own from Mady Chamberlain and Hannah Gibb to snatch the lead right back.

Claggett made a basket, plus the foul, with 1:20 left in regulation to knot the score 59-59, but the Griffins drew fouls on their next two possessions and hit 3-of-4 free throws. Zawada had a shot from beyond the arc to tie it with 11 seconds left, but it rimmed out.

“It’s a lot of pressure to put onto first-year kid,” Tuchscherer said, alluding to Zawada’s game-tying attempt out of a timeout. “It’s her fifth or sixth game that she’s played and we’re asking her to do a lot already.

“We drew up a play for her there and it broke down a little bit, but she had the presence of mind to still get a shot off. It just about went in, but it is what it is.”

MacEwan’s Kayla Ivicak secured the rebound and was fouled, going 1-for-2 from the line. UFV’s Kate Head hit a triple to beat the fourth-quarter buzzer, but it merely shrank the Griffins’ final margin from four points to one.

Claggett and Zawada were the only Cascades who were able to get much going offensively on this night. Claggett scored 23 points on 8-of-12 from the field, to go with nine rebounds, four assists and three steals. Rookie guard Zawada, meanwhile, accounted for five of UFV’s six treys on the night on her way to 17 points.

Ivicak paced the Griffins with 19 points and 13 boards, and Gibb scored 12.

The Cascades basketball teams are back in action at home next weekend, hosting the UNBC Timberwolves in a Friday-Saturday set at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

Women’s Volleyball: Cascades wrap up weekend sweep of Blues

In a game of wild momentum swings, the University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team found enough traction to earn a four-set win and complete a weekend sweep of the Capilano Blues.

The Cascades, ranked No. 9 in the nation, only showed their true quality in fits and starts, but they shone in the big moments and prevailed by scores of 25-20, 25-20, 20-25, 26-24 at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

UFV improved to 6-4 in PACWEST play, moving into a third-place tie with the Camosun Chargers, while the fifth-place Blues fell to 3-7.

“It was definitely not the consistency we were hoping for,” Cascades head coach Mike Gilray said, noting that his team struggled with its passing for a second consecutive evening. “We have stretches of brilliant play every game, the goal is just to make them last a little longer. Against Douglas (Nov. 2-3), we did it for the longest period of time against a very good team. This weekend, we were up and down. Our hitters had to grind it out, and they were able to.”

The Cascades, who also won in four sets in the series opener Friday, strung together a few points midway through the first set to pull away. In the second, a four-point service run by Lexi Edwards helped the hosts take it.

The Blues, though, bounced back to dominate the third set, leading by 10 points (21-11) before UFV made a late push that came up short.

In the fourth, Amanda Matsui took over. The Cascades’ sophomore left side had back-to-back kills to snap a 20-20 tie, and after the Blues surged ahead 24-23, she once again posted back-to-back kills to give UFV the advantage. An attack error by Capilano’s Sarah Curleigh ultimately delivered match point to the Cascades.

“All 14 players played on Friday or Saturday,” Gilray observed afterward. “We keep talking about our depth, and it was important for us.”

Matsui shouldered an incredible workload, finishing with 21 kills on 60 swings. Kim Bauder racked up an eye-popping 28 digs, while sophomore middle Lauren Poirier made her first home start and was voted player of the game by her teammates after providing a strong blocking presence.

The Cascades volleyball teams clash with the Columbia Bible College Bearcats, their crosstown rivals, next weekend in a home-and-home set. Games run Friday at UFV’s Envision Financial Athletic Centre, and Saturday at Columbia Place.

Men’s Volleyball: Cascades’ comeback comes up short, Blues prevail in four

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team had their moments, but the Capilano Blues had more of them as they earned a four-set win on Saturday at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

The Blues, coming off a straight-sets triumph on Friday, picked up where they left off with a 25-14 victory in the first set. The Cascades, though, ended the second set on a 6-3 surge to take it 25-22 and square the match.

The third set was once again hard-fought, but the Blues scored the last three points of the frame to take it 25-21. Capilano dominated the early portion of the fourth, building leads of 8-2 and 17-10 before UFV mounted a stirring comeback behind Ben Friesen and Justin Peleshytyk to get back to within 23-22. The Blues, though, closed out the match after Peleshytyk and Friesen finally cooled off and made consecutive attack errors.

The Blues improved to 7-3, while the Cascades slipped to 0-10.

“I thought we saw more bright spots tonight, and our fight was overall better,” UFV head coach Kyle Donen said. “Unfortunately we just didn’t get the result we needed. I thought we could have made a few better decisions towards the end of the game, but at least we went down swinging. We had our chance to win it.

“In that last set, I don’t think they expected the push we gave them. We were down 17-10 at one point. . . . But we just can’t wait to be down to fight like that. We need to fight that way to avoid being down.”

Friesen paced the Cascades with 12 kills and eight digs, Peleshytyk had eight kills, and Jackson Obst had seven. Rookie setter Bobby Blaskovits posted 36 assists.

Jacob Hopkins led the Blues with 14 kills, and Simon Friesen had 47 assists for the visitors.

The Cascades volleyball teams clash with the Columbia Bible College Bearcats, their crosstown rivals, next weekend in a home-and-home set. Games run Friday at UFV’s Envision Financial Athletic Centre, and Saturday at Columbia Place.

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