UFV Cascades Sports Friday – Tough Night For Both Volleyball and Basketball

Men’s Volleyball: Avalanche fend off Cascades ( Jordie Arthur, Cascades communications assistant)

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team battled hard but fell achingly short on Friday in Cranbrook, dropping a three-set decision to the College of the Rockies Avalanche.

All three sets were decided by the minimum two points and went beyond the 25-point threshold, but it was the Avalanche (7-16) edging the Cascades (5-16) by scores of 26-24, 34-32, 26-24.

Despite the loss, the UFV squad clinched a PACWEST playoff spot by virtue of the fact the Columbia Bible College Bearcats – the team chasing them for the sixth and final conference berth – dropped a five-set decision to the Douglas Royals on Friday.

“Even though we lost 3-0, I’m really happy with the way the guys played,” Cascades head coach Nathan Bennett said. “They showed a great battle level. We’ve been talking about it for a few months, and they really showed up to play today, especially when we were down big in the third. In the past, we probably would have rolled over. But tonight they fought and they battled hard all the way through, which was really, really nice to see.”

In the opening set, the two teams found themselves level at 19-19, but back-to-back kills by Carter Brodner helped stake the Avalanche to a 23-19 lead. The Cascades stormed back, getting consecutive service aces from Landon Uy on their way to tying it 23-23. However, COTR gained a 25-24 advantage and they made no mistake as Vittor Mateus would close it out with an ace.

UFV and COTR traded points in the second, but it was the Avalanche who grabbed a late 24-22 lead. The Cascades secured a kill by Uy and an ace by Dylan Neudorf to pull them level on 24. The two teams struggled to control the momentum late in the set, but with the score 32 apiece, a kill by Brodner and a block by Jordan Simpson pushed the Avalanche over the edge, 34-32.

The third was again tightly contested, but with the score tied 8-8 the Avalanche knocked down eight of the following nine points to grab a 16-9 advantage. COTR held onto that six-point margin through the middle portion of the set, but with the score 22-16 UFV would go on a run of their own. They racked up eight of the following 10 points to erase the deficit and draw level, 24-24. It was not enough for the Cascades on this night, however, as COTR secured kills by Brodner and Hudson Goertz to close out the match 26-24.

“Volleyball is a game of creating an opportunity to score a point, and when that opportunity comes, you have to make sure you execute,” Bennett said, reflecting on the razor-thin margin for error that tilted the balance COTR’s way on Friday. “That’s what I’m hoping tomorrow we’ll see a little bit more of.”

Uy hammered home a match-high 16 kills for the Cascades, while Caleb Kastelein notched 12 of his own on a .409 hitting percentage.

Quinn Grist led the way for the Avalanche with 13 kills, and Brodner had 12.

The Cascades volleyball teams are back in action Saturday afternoon to conclude the weekend series (women 12 p.m., men 2 p.m. Pacific time, pacwestbc.tv).

Women’s Volleyball: Cascades survive Avalanche, earn epic five-set road win

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team went the distance – and then some – to secure their first victory in over a month, outlasting the College of the Rockies Avalanche in an epic five-set marathon on Friday in Cranbrook.

It was the definition of a hard-earned win, as the Cascades snapped a six-game losing streak by scores of 25-18, 19-25, 25-23, 24-26, and 28-26 to secure the victory.

The result boosted UFV’s record to 9-12, while the Avalanche fell to 9-14 on the season.

“I’m really happy that they got the taste of victory tonight, because it’s been a lot of lessons learned through losses lately,” UFV head coach Janelle Rozema said of her players afterward. “Sometimes it’s just nice to get that breather of feeling what a win feels like again, just to remind ourselves that what we’re doing works.”

UFV started strong, building an 18-14 lead in the opening set. They extended their advantage to 21-16, before closing it out 25-18.

The Avalanche pushed back in the second, building a 15-9 lead after a pair of aces by Abigail Gruenhage and despite some late resistance from the Cascades, they took it 25-19.

UFV opened up a 9-4 lead in the third, but the Avalanche caught fire, hammering 17 of the next 21 points to take a 21-13 lead. The Cascades, though, managed a massive rally. Amanda Matsui registered three consecutive kills and Kara Williams hit an ace to help stop the bleeding, and the visitors would knock down 12 of the last 14 points to come out on top 25-23.

The Cascades appeared poised to end the match in the fourth, grabbing a 16-12 lead after Chelsea Kidd notched consecutive aces during a six-point service run. UFV would carry this lead to 24-20, but COTR fended off four match point attempts to even it at 24. Kills from Kaitlyn Friesen and Taylor Whittall closed out the set 26-24 for the Avalanche.

The Cascades opened the fifth hot, getting back-to-back service aces from Williams on their way to a 6-0 lead. However, COTR would not go down without a fight, evening the score 8-8 after four consecutive kills by Ecaterina Arabadji. UFV regained the advantage, 11-10, bolstered by three kills by Kristen McBride, and would extend the lead to 14-10, but COTR – as they’d done in the fourth – managed to fend off four match points to even the set at 14. Both teams had chances to end it, but with the score tied 26-26, Sedona Arabsky came through with a clutch kill for the Cascades, and they would finish it off via a COTR error on their 10th match point of the set, 28-26.

Kidd paced the Cascades with 16 kills and four aces, while Matsui and McBride slotted home 15 and 13 kills respectively. Arabsky picked up player of the match honours with 12 kills and a .529 hitting percentage, and Williams racked up 50 set assists and five aces.

Whittall posted a game-high 19 kills for the Avalanche, while Arabadji notched 17.

“I’m glad we got the win, but the big lesson tonight was eliminating the other team’s big runs,” Rozema noted afterward. “We just can’t allow those runs. I think we probably could have won a little faster, in three or four sets, had we controlled their run of points a little bit better.”

The Cascades volleyball teams are back in action Saturday afternoon to conclude the weekend series (women 12 p.m., men 2 p.m. Pacific time, pacwestbc.tv).

Men’s Basketball: Cougars explode in third quarter to snap Cascades’ win streak

The Regina Cougars put an end to the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team’s nine-game win streak on Friday evening, knocking off the Cascades 87-70 at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

The third quarter was the difference – a one-point UFV halftime lead (36-35) evaporated as the Cougars outscored the hosts 32-14 in the frame, and they cruised from there.

The Cascades (12-7) and Cougars (10-9) renew hostilities on Saturday (7 p.m., CanadaWest.tv presented by Co-op) in the Canada West regular-season finale for both teams.

“They just took it to us,” UFV head coach Adam Friesen said afterward, reflecting on the third quarter. “They were aggressive taking it to the rim, crashing the glass, and they got their momentum getting too many easy shots, and it went from there.

“We’ve got to understand what went poorly and try to get back to the things we’ve been doing well.”

The two teams battled back and forth throughout the first half – UFV’s 6-0 run to start the game represented the largest lead for either team, and the hosts took a 36-35 edge to the locker room on Daniel Adediran’s fast-break bucket late in the second quarter.

The first four minutes of the third quarter proceeded according to the first-half script, with Parm Bains’s triple giving UFV a 44-42 lead at that juncture. Regina exploded at that point, reeling off an incredible 25-3 run highlighted by eight points from Benjamin Hillis and three-pointers from four different players. When it was all said and done, the Cougars led 67-47, rendering the fourth quarter largely academic.

“I’d love to say there was a magic bullet in there at halftime, but basketball sometimes is a game of momentum,” Regina head coach Steve Burrows said. “We hit some shots early in the third quarter, and started rolling a little bit. And sometimes when you get on the right side of those things, it’s a ball rolling down the hill. Tomorrow, it could look like the exact opposite. They’re a pretty explosive team, and they’re capable of doing the same thing.”

Benjamin Hillis finished with a game-high 23 points for the Cougars, and four of his teammates – Brayden Kuski (18), Greishe Clerjuste (14), Shaquille Harris (11) and Samuel Hillis (10) – scored in double figures.

Parm Bains counted five treys among his team-high 17 points, and Sukhjot Bains posted 11 points and six boards for the Cascades. UFV surrendered 19 turnovers to Regina’s six.

“We knew what they’ve done,” Burrows said, acknowledging the Cascades’ win streak coming in. “They’ve had a great year – nine wins in a row, at this point it’s them, Calgary and probably Alberta that have run off streaks like that (this season). That’s elite company there. We knew we were going to have to play well. I think we brought good energy and good focus on the defensive end, especially in the third quarter.”

BOUNCE PASSES: Saturday marks the final regular-season home game for Cascades fifth-year players Parm Bains, Sukhjot Bains and Matt Cooley. The trio will be celebrated in a post-game Senior Night ceremony. . . . Parm Bains’s five-trey performance gives him 78 on the year, moving him to within four of the CW all-time record for three-pointers in a season. The current mark of 82 is co-held by Nathan Dixon (Manitoba Bisons, 2008-09) and Daniel Ferguson (Alberta Golden Bears, 2010-11).

Women’s Basketball: Cascades come through in the clutch, edge Cougars 63-60

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team extended its win streak to 10 games in thrilling fashion, rallying in the final minute of regulation to edge the Regina Cougars 63-60 on Friday at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

A tough, veteran-laden Cougars squad made the youthful Cascades earn everything they got, scoring five straight points down the stretch to go up 60-57 with 1:30 left. But the hosts finished with a flourish, reeling off a game-ending 6-0 run to earn the victory.

UFV (15-4) and Regina (8-11) conclude the Canada West regular season on Saturday at the EFAC (5 p.m., CanadaWest.tv presented by Co-op).

“It was a fun game,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer marveled afterward. “We haven’t beaten Regina in a long time – we’ve got a lot of respect for their program.

“Regina’s a lot better than their record. They’ve had players in and out of their lineup all year because of injury. Dave (Taylor, Cougars head coach) does such a good job with the stuff that he runs, and we knew it was going to be a real test for our team.

“One thing I’ll say about our team – we adapt to most situations quite quickly. . . . Tonight was more of that. We did a really good job of adapting to what they were trying to do offensively.”

In the first quarter, the Cascades and Cougars were executing smoothly at the offensive end – UFV built a 20-19 lead at the end of the frame with forwards Taylor Claggett and Deanna Tuchscherer combining for nine points, and Regina countered with eight points from Faith Reid, including a pair of triples.

The game took on a defensive tone in the second, with the Cougars holding the Cascades to a single field goal and outscoring them 11-6 to take a 30-26 advantage into halftime.

The two teams battled back and forth throughout the second half, and in the fourth quarter, UFV rookie Jessica Parker caught fire, scoring 10 points in the frame. Her driving lefty layup with two and a half minutes left gave the hosts a 57-55 lead, but the Cougars responded with a trey from Michaela Kleisinger and a putback layup from Emily Dewey to grab a 60-57 edge.

That was the last points the visitors would score, though, as UFV stiffened defensively. Claggett, after hitting a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to one, came up with a steal that led to a clutch Tuchscherer jumper to give the Cascades the lead. UFV forced a shot clock violation on the next Regina possession, and on the ensuing inbounds, Tuchscherer hit a wide-open Parker with a baseball pass for the breakaway layup. Reid had a shot from beyond the arc at the buzzer to send it to OT, but it rimmed out.

“We didn’t create the shot we wanted (in the final minute), and they got a couple good shots,” Cougars head coach Dave Taylor noted afterward. “At the end of the day, we wanted to give ourselves a chance to win. They’re a very good team, and they made a couple more plays, really.

“We’re happy with lots of that. We’ve been talking about how we’ve got to make a few less mental mistakes, and we made fewer tonight. But we still made a couple that ended up costing us.”

Claggett finished with a game-high 20 points and eight boards, Deanna Tuchscherer had 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Parker chipped in with 13 points for the Cascades.

Macaela Crone scored a team-high 14 for the Cougars, and Reid had 10.

BOUNCE PASSES: Saturday’s game will feature a post-game Senior Night ceremony for graduating UFV fifth-year Claggett.

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