Women’s Volleyball (Jordie Arthur, Cascades communications assistant): Cascades fall to Blues in PACWEST semis, will play for bronze
The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team saw its upset bid fall short on Friday evening, as the Vancouver Island University Mariners fended them off in the PACWEST semifinals on Friday night in New Westminster.
The two-time reigning CCAA national champion Mariners prevailed 25-13, 25-16 and 25-13, and move on to face the Camosun Chargers for the conference title. The Cascades, meanwhile, will play the Capilano Blues for the bronze medal (Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Douglas College, pacwestbc.tv).
“I was telling the girls this is honestly the weirdest volleyball match I’ve ever been a part of,” UFV head coach Janelle Rozema analyzed afterward. “I don’t feel like the score reflected our level of play.
“I think that was the best volleyball we’ve played all year. It’s disappointing when you don’t get the outcome, but I think that our athletes are showing some maturity by taking the value in that and the experience of the level of play that we’re capable of.”
The Cascades grabbed a 3-1 lead in the first set, but the Mariners rattled off seven of the next 11 points to take a 10-5 advantage. VIU would not let up from there, extending their lead to 19-13, and Amanda Dobbyn would close out the set on a six-point service run.
The Mariners opened up a 5-2 lead in the second, but a massive block by UFV’s Sedona Arabsky helped to turn the momentum. The Cascades scored four of the next five points to level the score 6-6, capped off by an Arabsky kill. VIU re-established their advantage, going up 11-7 following an ace by Danielle Groenendijk and a kill by Karoline Tormena. The Mariners knocked down 10 of the next 16 points to stretch their lead to 21-13, and they went on take it 25-16.
VIU continued their hot play in the third as they scored the opening six points of the set, recording three blocks in that stretch. The Mariners maintained control from there, going up 20-9 before eventually finishing it off 25-13 on another Tormena kill.
Chelsea Kidd was named the Cascades’ player of the game, notching 10 kills and eight digs. Arabsky picked up seven kills of her own, while Amanda Matsui and Kristen McBride had a team-high 10 digs apiece.
Tormena paced the Mariners with 14 kills on the night, while VIU player of the game Groenendijk posted 13 kills of her own. Shelby Dorman-Banks also had a big night, posting game-highs in set assists (33), digs (12), and aces (three).
“We went up against the best team in the country, and I think we gave them the hardest match that they had all year,” Rozema said. “I think we’re proud of that and our spirits are high, so we’re going to carry those good vibes into tomorrow’s match.”
Men’s Basketball: Dinos pull away in fourth quarter, top Cascades in quarter-finals
CALGARY – An undermanned University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball squad threw a mighty scare into the two-time defending Canada West champions, but the Calgary Dinos pulled away late for a 78-63 win in the conference quarter-finals on Friday.
The Cascades, missing top scorer and CW first team all-star Parm Bains due to injury, led 33-30 at the half and were within three points heading to the fourth quarter. They ran out of gas in the final frame, though, as the hosts out-scored them 27-15 to seal the win.
The result spells the end of UFV’s season, while the Dinos move on to the conference semifinals on Saturday to face the winner of Friday’s late quarter-final between UBC and Saskatchewan.
“I’m very proud of the effort,” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen said afterward. “Being undermanned and going up against a team as talented as Calgary, the guys competed and believed they could do something special. We made it a very competitive game for three quarters and a bit. Just couldn’t finish it up.”
The Cascades started slowly at the offensive end – they went just 5-for-15 in the first quarter, and Calgary opened a 19-11 lead. UFV’s shots started falling in the second quarter, though – they knocked down five from beyond the arc, including three from Sukhjot Bains, and rallied for a 33-30 lead at the break.
Calgary opened the third quarter on a 7-0 run, but the Cascades stayed within striking distance, and were within 51-48 after Daniel Adediran ended the frame with an acrobatic drive to the hoop.
The Dinos, though, scored the knockout punch with an 11-2 run to start the fourth. Noah Wharton lit the fuse, scoring seven points during that surge, and Calgary kept the Cascades at bay the rest of the way.
Sukhjot Bains led the Cascades with 15 points, Sukhraj Bains came off the bench to spark the squad with 12 points and nine rebounds, and Adediran chipped in with 11 points and nine boards.
UFV did an outstanding job at the defensive end for much of the night – they limited Dinos leading scorer Brett Layton to just eight points on 3-of-12 shooting from the field, and Calgary mustered just 38.6 per cent from the field as a team. But Mason Foreman stepped up for the hosts with 21 points and 12 rebounds, and Wharton scored 14 off the bench.
The result brings the five-year university basketball careers of Sukhjot and Parm Bains, and Matt Cooley, to a conclusion.
“The years they gave the program, I can’t thank them enough,” Friesen said. “They gave their heart and their sweat and their tears. I’m really proud of them. They had good careers, and some great moments and memories they’ll look back on fondly.”