UFV Sports Friday – Strong Weekend For Both Basketball and Volleyball

Men’s Volleyball: Cascades earn four-set win over Bearcats

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team came up victorious in a four-set battle against their crosstown rivals, the Columbia Bible College Bearcats, on Friday in Abbotsford.

Playing at Columbia Place, the Cascades dropped the first set 25-20, but stormed back to take the next three 25-23, 25-22, 28-26.

With the win, the UFV squad improves to 6-17, while the Bearcats fall to 1-22 in PACWEST play.

The two teams wrap up the regular season on Saturday at UFV’s Envision Financial Athletic Centre (7 p.m. pacwestbc.tv).

“We did a good job of siding out, and we passed better tonight than we have recently,” UFV head coach Nathan Bennett analyzed. “Ryan Luck came in and did a really good job of passing for us – he was on fire.”

The teams found themselves even at 12-12 in the first set, but the Bearcats scored five of the next six points to take a 17-13 lead. CBC held onto that advantage late, and with the score 23-20, they got a kill from Noah Bouius and a block by Nathan Rempel to finish off the set 25-20.

The Bearcats went up 10-7 in the second, but four consecutive kills by the Cascades’ Landon Uy helped his team surge ahead 13-10. CBC chipped away at the lead, eventually pulling even at 19-19 after a pair of kills by Jackson Anderson. With the Cascades up 21-20, Uy once again hit back-to-back kills to increase their lead to 23-20, and despite a late charge from CBC, UFV held on to take it 25-23.

The Cascades built a 23-19 lead in the third, and while CBC was able to close the deficit to 23-22, kills by Graham Walkey and Justin Peleshytyk finished it off 25-22.

The teams continued to battle in the fourth, playing to a 25-25 score, but it was the Cascades who once again came out on top after a pair of kills by Peleshytyk and another by Uy to close it out 28-26.

“Our defensive and transition game has been doing a pretty good job for us in the last month or so, but today any of the things that were unexpected or not of the norm we had a difficult time with,” Bennett said afterward. “When things were rolling, we were doing really well. I think it’s the moments when things don’t come as easily – that’s where we have to clean up going into provincials.”

Uy posted a game-high 18 kills for the Cascades, while Caleb Kastelein notched 14 of his own. Carter Bronson added 15 digs, while Luck had seven on the night.

Bouius paced the Bearcats with 15 kills, and Jakob Boschmann added 13.

Women’s Volleyball: Cascades sweep past rival Bearcats

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team wrapped up a decisive three-set victory over the Columbia Bible College Bearcats on Friday night at Columbia Place in Abbotsford.

The visiting Cascades were solid throughout, posting set wins of 25-15, 25-12, and 25-17. With the victory UFV improves its record to 10-13 while CBC falls to 2-21 on the season.

The two teams renew hostilities on Saturday, completing the home-and-home set at UFV’s Envision Financial Athletic Centre (5 p.m. start). The final game of the PACWEST regular season doubles as Senior Night for Cascades fifth-year players Chelsea Kidd and Cassidy King. They’ll be honoured in a post-game ceremony.

“We just executed really well on our side,” UFV head coach Janelle Rozema analyzed. “We passed really well, and our attackers were making really good decisions. We eliminated our unforced errors, and I just felt like we were in a really good zone. It looks like we’re on a mission going into provincials.”

A six-serve run by Kidd, during which she registered both an ace and a kill, gave the Cascades a 10-3 lead in the first set. The teams traded points from there, with an Amanda Matsui kill sealing it for the Cascades, 25-15.

In the second, UFV took control on back-to-back aces from Alysha Cooper followed by a Lauren Poirier kill to grab a 10-5 lead. The Cascades did not slow down from there, scoring nine of the next 12 points to make it 19-8, and they would close it out 25-12 on an Ashley Huberts kill.

The Bearcats went up 6-4 in the third, but the lead was short-lived as the Cascades scored the next six points with Kristen McBride picking up a kill and an ace in that stretch. CBC shrunk the deficit to 11-10, but that was as close as they would get. The Cascades secured a seven-serve run courtesy of Kara Williams to make it 18-10, and they finished it off 25-17 on another Huberts kill.

Matsui paced the Cascades with nine kills, while Kidd knocked down six and Poirier notched five. Williams added 24 set assists on the night.

Janae Bruinsma had a team-high five kills for the Bearcats, and Megan Polant had four.

Men’s Basketball: Sekhon, Cascades stun Wesmen in OT

With their two best players watching the decisive moments from the bench, the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team staged a stunning rally, edging the Winnipeg Wesmen 92-84 in overtime on Friday.

In a do-or-die, single-elimination Canada West first-round playoff game at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre, the Cascades saw fifth-year stars Parm Bains (injury) and Sukhjot Bains (five fouls) exit in the fourth quarter. In the meantime, a six-point UFV lead with 3:30 left in regulation evaporated, with the Wesmen surging ahead 76-72 with less than 20 seconds remaining.

But after a Matt Cooley free throw cut the deficit to three, Jordyn Sekhon knocked down a clutch triple with 4.4 seconds left to send the game to OT. The Cascades made the most of their new lease on life, outscoring Winnipeg 16-8 in the extra session with Cooley and Daniel Adediran leading the way, punching their ticket to the CW quarter-finals in improbable fashion.

“I’m not really quite sure at the moment,” UFV head coach Adam Friesen said afterward, when asked how his team managed to pull it off. “Obviously a great basketball game. The battle we showed in the second half was a positive, no matter how the end of regulation played out. But Jordyn’s three-pointer gave us a second life, and Matt Cooley in particular really carried us in that overtime and got us that win in the end.”

In the first quarter, the Cascades led by as many as seven points, but the Wesmen put together a 10-2 run with Don Dayrit drilling a pair of three-pointers, and led 21-20 at the end of the frame.

Winnipeg continued to surge in the second, stretching the lead to double digits, and took a 54-41 advantage into the break after star point guard Narcisse Ambanza slashed into the lane and delivered a pass to Spas Nikolov for the and-one layup.

An incredible defensive performance in the third quarter got the hosts back into it. They limited the Wesmen to four points in the quarter, sending bodies at Ambanza to slow him down and closing out hard on shooters.

Winnipeg held a slim 58-57 lead heading to the fourth, and UFV surged ahead with Vick Toor and Sukhjot Bains getting into the paint to finish. An Adediran triple followed by a Sekhon drive to the rim put the Cascades up 71-65 with 3:30 remaining, but the Wesmen rallied. An and-one bucket in the paint from Donte Makazu followed by a pair of DJ Dixon free throws levelled the score 72-72, and on the ensuing Winnipeg possession, Ambanza drew Sukhjot Bains’s fifth and disqualifying foul. He went 2-for-2 from the line to put his team up 74-72 with 39 seconds left.

UFV’s next possession ended in a turnover, and Ambanza and Dixon both went 1-for-2 from the line in the dying seconds to up the visitors up 76-72. But after Dixon missed his second free throw, Cooley was fouled in the battle for the rebound, sending him to the line with 13.5 seconds left. Cooley made the first and missed the second, but managed to knock the rebound off a Winnipeg defender and out of bounds. On the inbounds, Jaskarn Bajwa missed a corner triple, Kenan Hadzovic missed a putback, and the rebound came all the way out to Sekhon at the top of the key, and he rattled home the trey to tie the score and send the home fans into hysterics.

“Kenan had the tip and missed, and the ball came out . . . I shot it and it felt good, and it went in,” Sekhon said with a smile afterward. “It felt pretty good, not gonna lie.”

In OT, Cooley and Adediran scored seven points apiece as UFV pulled away.

“I thought Fraser Valley did a really good job of adjusting in the third quarter, forcing the tempo of the game to be a little bit more in their favour,” Wesmen head coach Mike Raimbault said. “And I just thought they made more plays than we did to start the overtime.”

It was truly a team effort from the Cascades, who saw six players score in double figures: Toor (19), Cooley (14), Adediran (14), Sukhjot Bains (13), Sekhon (12) and Parm Bains (11).

Ambanza’s 19 points led the Wesmen, Makazu scored 18 and added 10 rebounds, and Dixon (15), Adam Benrabah (11) and Dayrit (10) also scored in double digits.

The Cascades now move on to face the Calgary Dinos on the road in the CW quarter-finals (Friday, 6:30 p.m. MT).

Women’s Basketball: Huge fourth-quarter run powers Cascades past WolfPack in playoff opener

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team took care of business on their home court to open the Canada West playoffs, topping the Thompson Rivers WolfPack 76-54.

The fifth meeting of the campaign between the two teams (including preseason) was of the do-or-die, single-elimination variety. The No. 5-seeded Cascades were in control for much of the game, yet every time they appeared poised to pull away once and for all, the No. 12 WolfPack dug deep to claw their way back into it. Ultimately, an 18-0 run in the fourth quarter gave the hosts the breathing room they needed.

With the victory, the Cascades advance to a quarterfinal/semifinal quadrant hosted by the Calgary Dinos next week. They’ll play the No. 4 seed Alberta Pandas (16-4) in the quarters, with the winner moving on to face the Calgary-UNBC winner in the semis.

“Thompson Rivers, full credit to them,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer said afterward. “Whenever we looked like we were about to pull away, that just fueled them. They’d get a little tougher, a little grittier, and they made us earn the W here tonight.

“It wasn’t the cleanest game from us, for sure. Our turnovers were up, and I didn’t think our decision-making in the half-court was fantastic. It might have been nerves, but I don’t know. You’ve got to learn to play through that. Whenever Thompson Rivers did make a push, we responded, so that was a really good sign for us.”

The offence was slow to materialize for both teams in the first quarter, which ended with UFV up 18-11. The Cascades were able to find more traction in the second, pushing the lead to double digits, and rookie point guard Nikki Cabuco’s incredible three-pointer from the halfcourt logo as time expired gave her team a 40-24 lead heading into halftime. TRU senior Leilani Carney carried her team in the first half, pouring in 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field.

UFV scored five straight points to open the third quarter – highlighted by a pair of Amanda Thompson buckets – to push the lead to 21, but the WolfPack hung tough behind eight points from Jordon Haggerty in the frame and got back to within 12.

In the fourth, the Cascades led 58-40 after a pair of Victoria Jacobse free throws, only to watch TRU reel off 11 straight points – including a pair of triples from Emma Piggin and one from Brooklyn Golt – to cut the deficit to 58-51 with six-plus minutes left in regulation.

UFV found an answer, though, as treys from Cabuco and Maddy Gobeil in quick succession got the lead back to 13, and they stepped on the gas from there. The WolfPack went nearly six minutes without a point, before Piggin hit a free throw and a late jumper in the final 30 seconds with the outcome already decided.

“First of all, we played a really great team with a great coaching staff. We didn’t open the game well. I expected the pressure would be more on the side of Fraser Valley, but we started the game by missing five or six easy layups. You cannot do that . . . you’re fighting the whole time and expending energy (to get back into it). The moments we managed to bring the game (close), we didn’t have any more (energy).”

Rookie forward Deanna Tuchscherer poured in a game-high 20 points for the Cascades, and four of her teammates – Thompson, Gobeil, Cabuco and Taylor Claggett – finishing with 10 points apiece. UFV struggled with turnovers, surrendering 22 as the WolfPack pressed throughout the second half, but they shot 50 per cent from the field while limiting TRU to 33.8 per cent.

WolfPack seniors Carney and Piggin performed valiantly in what proved to be the final game of their university careers, tying for team-high honours with 17 points each. Haggerty scored 15 points and added five assists.

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