UFV Sports Saturday – Basketball Sweep – Volleyball Split

Women’s Basketball: Claggett, Cascades complete sweep of No. 10-ranked T-Wolves

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The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team wrapped up a stunning sweep of the nation’s No. 10-ranked team, knocking off the UNBC Timberwolves 74-71 on Saturday evening at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

Coming off a 72-66 triumph in Friday’s opener, the Cascades and T-Wolves once again battled down to the wire, with the hosts making a few more plays down the stretch than did the visitors.

Taylor Claggett, fresh off a 28-point outburst the night before, racked up 25 points and 11 rebounds to set the tone for the Cascades. Katelyn Mallette had a huge contribution off the bench with 15 points in just 12 minutes, and Amanda Thompson counted a trio of three-pointers among her 13 points.

Madison Landry paced UNBC with 19 points, Maria Mongomo (17 points, 10 rebounds) and Vasiliki Louka (16 points, 11 boards) had double-doubles, and Alina Shakirova scored 13 off the bench.

The Cascades levelled their record at 5-5, while the T-Wolves fell to 6-2.

In the aftermath, UFV bench boss Al Tuchscherer acknowledged his team carried itself with a new sense of confidence this weekend.

“It was a big step for our team – believing in ourselves, believing in the work we’ve put in, and believing in each other,” Tuchscherer enthused. “You could see it on the court – sharing the ball, being there for each other defensively. I’m proud of them.

“We talked after the game about how some of the practices the past few weeks have been pretty tough. We’ve been working hard, and that’s why you do those things – so you can play a tough game for 40 minutes. I thought that was a huge factor in our success.”

The Cascades picked up where they’d left off on Friday, building an early 16-8 lead behind seven quick points from Claggett. They maintained a 35-28 lead at the break, and stretched the lead to double digits at 64-54 early in the fourth after Mallette poured in five straight points to open the final frame.

Canada West leading scorer Mongomo took over at that point, reeling off seven points consecutively to cut the visitors’ deficit to 64-61. But from that point, the Cascades answered every UNBC bucket with one of their own. Mongomo drilled a three-pointer from the left wing with 40 seconds left in regulation to get the T-Wolves to within 70-68, but with 25 seconds left, UFV rookie forward Madeline Beerwald came through with a 15-foot baseline jumper to make it a two-possession game. It was a moment of déjà vu for Beerwald, who made an almost identical shot in the dying seconds on Friday.

Mongomo missed a trey on the next trip, and Claggett sealed the deal with a pair of free throws. Landry connected from downtown at the buzzer to provide the final margin.

It was a true team effort for the Cascades, who got well-rounded performances from the starting backcourt of Kate Head (seven points, five assists, four rebounds) and Victoria Jacobse (five points, seven rebounds, four assists).

“You don’t want to overlook what Taylor did this weekend – she’s been doing that every weekend for us, and it’s the other kids stepping up who become the difference-makers for us,” Tuchscherer noted. “Madeline last night, and Katelyn tonight. And I thought Victoria and Kate were really good this weekend, distributing the ball and hitting timely shots. And it was nice having Amanda back this weekend. Defensively she’s a difference-maker, and she’s shooting the ball really well right now. You’re starting to see a glimpse of our potential as a team.”

The Cascades basketball teams wrap up their first-semester schedules this coming weekend, as they visit the UBC Okanagan Heat.

Men’s Basketball: Cascades dominate the glass in second straight win over T-Wolves

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Relentless rebounding, timely defence and clutch shooting comprised the recipe for success as the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team capped a weekend sweep of the UNBC Timberwolves with an 85-79 triumph on Saturday.

The Cascades, coming off an 81-62 victory over the T-Wolves the night before, dominated the boards for a second straight evening. After out-rebounding UNBC by a 54-33 count on Friday, they reprised that performance in the rematch, earning a 52-34 edge on the glass.

Those extra possessions made up for the fact that the T-Wolves were marginally more efficient offensively, shooting 40.3 per cent from the field to UFV’s 38.2.

The visitors, in fact, got off to a scorching start, scoring 27 in the first quarter en route to a 44-41 halftime lead. But the Cascades tightened things up defensively in the third quarter, outscoring UNBC 23-12 in the frame to pull away.

In the fourth quarter, UFV’s long-distance shooting sealed the victory. Every time the Timberwolves made a push, the Cascades would answer with a triple. They hit five in the final frame, including a trio of treys from 6’10” centre Sukhman Sandhu, who finished with a team-high 22 points and went 5-of-9 from downtown to go with three blocks in just 17 minutes of play.

When it was all said and done, UFV had earned its fifth straight win and boosted its record to 6-4 at the expense of UNBC, which fell to 5-3.

“Coming out of halftime, it’s another chance to reset,” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen said, reflecting on his team’s decisive third-quarter surge. “As a group, wanted to have a better start to the third quarter than we did to the first quarter. Defensively, we didn’t change anything – we just did the things we knew we were supposed to do harder, with more intensity.

“Offensively, we haven’t been the most efficient, so we’ve really begun to understand the importance of rebounding and taking care of the basketball. We did those two things really well this weekend.”

Point guard Parm Bains also had a big game for the Cascades, counting four triples among his 19 points to go with a team-best five assists. Mark Johnson had a double-double (12 points, 13 boards), and Sukhjot Bains did a little bit of everything with nine points, seven boards and four assists.

T-Wolves standout guard Jovan Leamy sparked his team early, scoring 15 of his game-high 23 points in the first half. Austin Chandler (15 points), James Agyeman (14), Tyrell Laing (13) and Anthony Hokanson (11) also scored in double figures for the visitors.

Afterward, UNBC head coach Todd Jordan noted that the rebounding differential was too much for his team to overcome.

“As simple as it is, I think that was the difference in the game,” he said.

“We’ve been a pretty good rebounding team so far through the preseason up until now, and I think this is the first weekend we’ve really been beat up on the glass by anybody. That Fraser Valley team this weekend showed us a pretty good level of hard as far as going to the glass, and we need to be able to match that.”

The Cascades basketball teams wrap up their first-semester schedules this coming weekend, as they visit the UBC Okanagan Heat.

Women’s Volleyball: Cascades enter Christmas break on winning note, defeat Bearcats in four

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team wrapped up its 2018 schedule with a four-set victory over the Columbia Bible College Bearcats on Saturday.

The Cascades, coming off a three-set triumph over CBC at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre on Friday, went across town to Columbia Place to complete the home-and-home set. The Bearcats proved more dangerous at home, but it was UFV ultimately prevailing by scores of 25-20, 25-22, 15-25 and 25-22.

The victory enabled the CCAA No. 9-ranked Cascades (8-4) to leapfrog the Camosun Chargers for third place in the PACWEST. The Bearcats fell to 0-12.

“We’re definitely happy with where we’re sitting, and we’re happy with the parts of our game that are clicking right now – our serving and our offence,” Cascades head coach Mike Gilray said, reflecting on his team at the midpoint of the PACWEST campaign. “Just have to add a few more pieces to our game and keep the ball rolling.”

Setter Kara Williams got the Cascades off to a great start on Saturday, serving an early five-point run to stake UFV to the lead in the first set. The Bearcats battled back to tie, but the Cascades were able to close it out. It was much the same story in the second set – UFV building a significant lead, CBC rallying, and the Cascades coming through at the end.

The third set was all Bearcats, as the Cascades struggled with errors throughout and the hosts played with confidence. In a back-and-forth fourth set, UFV got key service runs from Hanna Hieltjes (midway through the set) and Stephanie Demeules (to close it out), sealing the victory.

“In the third, we let them get the momentum going, and that’s a tough ball to stop,” Gilray said. “It seemed like all of our errors were in a row in the third set, and that compounded with their momentum. They were definitely playing their best volleyball of the weekend during that stretch.”

The Cascades had a big night at the service line, serving at 90 per cent with 11 aces against just seven errors. Williams led the way in that department, serving 20 times and racking up three aces.

Fifth-year left side Kim Bauder led the offence, registering a team-high 15 kills on 30 swings with just three errors. She also notched 11 digs and two aces. Libero Cassidy King had 16 digs, and Gilray lauded the versatile play of Demeules, who has sparked the Cascades of late by stepping into the backup setter role with teammate Zoe Flowers sidelined due to injury.

The next game action for the Cascades volleyball teams comes Jan. 11-12, as they host the Camosun Chargers.

Men’s Volleyball: Cascades wrap up first half with road loss to Bearcats

The Columbia Bible College Bearcats got the best of an injury-ravaged University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team on Saturday evening, winning in three straight sets.

The Cascades were playing without a pair of key veteran leaders in fourth-year outside hitter (and team captain) Ben Friesen and third-year middle Josh Fefchack. They were sidelined due to injury and illness, respectively.

Nevertheless, the UFV squad – coming off a five-set triumph over the Bearcats on Friday at UFV – put together a strong start in the rematch at Columbia Place.

The Cascades jumped out to a 15-11 lead on the back of strong serving by rookie middle Jackson Obst, who had three service aces in the first set. But the Bearcats’ Jacob Molitwenik responded with some sharp serving of his own including a four-point service run to pull away and take the set 25-22.

That swung the momentum squarely towards the Bearcats, and they polished off the match by scores of 25-17 and 25-19. The Cascades had their bright moments – setter Bobby Blaskovits had some success at the service line in the second set to help trim a 13-8 deficit to 13-11, and middle Ian Jagersma had three kills in quick succession in the third to give UFV a fighting chance. But the Bearcats would not be denied – they wrapped up the match with a 7-2 run to close out the third.

The two teams head into the Christmas break with matching 1-11 records.

“You can’t use (the injuries) as an excuse,” UFV head coach Kyle Donen said afterward. “We’ve had different guys in and out of matches every game this year, and it was an opportunity for other guys to step up.

“I thought we had them down and out in the first set – we were in control, but a bad run here and there changed the game,” Donen added. “It was almost identical to last night . . . we were playing well, and we let them back in and they stole it. This time, we didn’t really recover.”

Graeme Hughes, Jagersma, and Matt Whittall were the Cascades’ top offensive producers, posting six, five and four kills, respectively. Blaskovits and Landon Uy tied for team-high honours with seven digs apiece.

Molitwenik and Jackson Kathler replied with eight kills each for CBC.

The next game action for the Cascades volleyball teams comes Jan. 11-12, as they host the Camosun Chargers.

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