Abbotsford – The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team has rounded out its recruiting class, adding four transfers from the Canadian college ranks.
Setter Zach Wikenheiser (Lethbridge College), Eduardo Ferreira (Humber College), Dimitrije Djordjevic (Capilano College) and Stefan Halas (Columbia Bible College) will join the Cascades as they move up to Canada West/U SPORTS following 18 seasons in the PACWEST.
Catholic Central High / Lethbridge College
Wikenheiser joins the Cascades after four highly decorated seasons at Lethbridge College, and will challenge for the starting setter role at UFV. His Kodiaks won back-to-back Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) silver medals in 2019 and 2020, and finished fourth at the 2020 CCAA national championships.
“Zach is a veteran player who is coming in with a lot of experience at the college level, most recently a silver medal at ACAC’s,” Bennett noted. “He has played in important matches and has the drive to improve his game for the next level. I am looking forward to watching his growth and his leadership as we work towards the next stage of his career.”
“I am excited to have the opportunity to be a part of a new team in the most competitive conference in the country,” said Wikenheiser, who will pursue a Bachelor of Integrated Studies degree at UFV. “It is the perfect opportunity to build my volleyball and leadership skills for the future. I look forward to being a part of something new and aiding the UFV men’s volleyball to success in their first year in a new conference. I hope to continue my volleyball career past post-secondary, and this experience is sure to help.”
6’5” left side
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Colégio de Aplicação da UERJ / Humber College
Ferreira spent the past two seasons with Toronto’s Humber College Hawks, helping the squad to an Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) silver medal in 2019, before upgrading to gold in 2020. He averaged 2.2 kills and 2.6 points per set during the 2019-20 season, and capped the campaign by leading the Hawks to a silver medal at the CCAA national championships.
“Eduardo is coming from Brazil with a great volleyball background as well as a high-level college program at Humber,” said Bennett. “Eduardo will bring a high skill level as well as a passion for the game. I am very happy to have him as part of our program and to work with him to achieve his goals athletically and academically.”
“Two years ago, I came to Canada from Brazil to seek a better life both academically and volleyball wise,” said Ferreira. “My time spent with Humber was unforgettable and gave me memories that will last a lifetime. Now it is time for me to take the next step in my volleyball career, to enhance my skills by playing in the top-rated league in the country, which will provide me new challenges to overcome and gain experience I need to succeed both on the court and in the classroom.
“I hope I can bring the winner mentality Humber taught me to help my new teammates as we seek to do our best as a group and as individuals to put the Cascades name as high as possible.”
6’5” outside hitter
Gimnazija 9.maj / Capilano College
Djordjevic had a highly decorated youth career in his native Serbia. In 2014 and 2016, he was named the best player in his hometown of Pirot, and he captained his high school team to a fourth-place finish at the national championships in 2016. He played in the Serbian Superleague in 2017 and 2018, and was a Serbian junior national team invitee in 2018.
This past season, Djordjevic was part of a Capilano Blues squad which won the PACWEST conference championship and went on to defeat Ferreira’s Humber squad in the finals of the CCAA national tournament.
“Coming from Serbia he will bring a unique view of the game and a great work ethic,” Bennett said of Djordjevic. “I am excited to see Dimitrije grow into a high-level player in Canada West, and to give him the platform to propel his volleyball career after university.”
“I believe in this team and our goal,” said Djordjevic, who will study kinesiology at UFV. “My dream is to be one as a team, to be there for each together and give support to one another. Success is just the product of these things united. The goal is to improve and grow as a team and hopefully claim that by winning a championship.”
Maple Ridge, B.C.
Maple Ridge Secondary / Columbia Bible College
Halas doesn’t have far to go to join the Cascades, having spent the past two seasons with Abbotsford’s Columbia Bible College Bearcats. The Maple Ridge, B.C. product joins former Bearcats teammates Graham Walkey and Noah Bouius on the Cascades’ roster, and is coming off a 2019-20 season which saw him post 1.15 kills and 1.9 points per set in PACWEST regular season action. His prep career was highlighted by a bronze medal at the 2018 national championships with the Fraser Valley Volleyball Club.
“Stefan will bring some great depth to the middle position and push everyone on the team to improve,” Bennett said. “I have seen Stefan over the last season and I believe that he can be a valuable asset to our group. I am looking forward to working with him in the middle position as his work ethic will allow him to reach his potential.”
“I chose to play at UFV for the opportunity to play volleyball with a great program and to study at a great school,” said Halas, who will study geography at UFV.