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UFV Sports Friday

Abbotsford – Men’s Basketball: Morgan’s breakout performance powers Cascades to victory over MacEwan

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team kept its perfect record intact, earning a 74-64 victory over the MacEwan Griffins at the Envision Athletic Centre on Friday night.

The Cascades lost swingman Mark Johnson to an apparent knee injury in the first quarter, forcing head coach Adam Friesen to turn to his bench. They wouldn’t disappoint, posting 31 points to help pace the hosts to the victory.

Leading the bench brigade was redshirt freshman Marcus Morgan, whose career-high 17 points were highlighted by 4-for-7 shooting from beyond the arc. Fifth-year guard Kevon Parchment tied Morgan for team-high scoring honours and added nine rebounds, while Manny Dulay and Vijay Dhillon chipped in with 14 points apiece.

Griffins forward Keith Gerdes put in a strong effort, posting 21 points and nabbing seven rebounds on the evening. MacEwan also saw a strong performance from Thomas Jereniuk with 13 points and six boards.

The Cascades (3-0) and Griffins (1-2) clash again on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the EAC.

“The boys have really stuck together and showed some good toughness mentally,” Friesen said. “They found a way in the middle of the game to go through some adversity, come out the other side and find a way to win another one.”

The Cascades opened up a slim four-point lead in the first quarter after Parchment and Matt Cooley hit back-to-back jumpers to the end the frame. Neither team was able to make gains in the second quarter, and the Cascades took a 35-31 lead into the halftime break.

In the third, UFV did its best to repeat the phantasmagorical second-half shooting display from last Saturday’s win over UBC Okanagan. They fell shy of that preposterous watermark (73.9 per cent from the field) but they managed a cool 60 per cent. Morgan kicked off a 10-0 run in the final 1:45 of the quarter with two straight treys, and the Winnipeg product put an exclamation mark on the outburst with an emphatic dunk just before time expired, staking the Cascades to a 59-45 lead.

MacEwan did their best to mount a comeback in the final 10 minutes but UFV’s defence held them largely in check.

“I was just put in the right spot,” Morgan said afterward, reflecting on his breakout performance. “Vijay and Manny got me really good looks, and I just knocked them down.

“It felt really good. It was a big team win. We needed people to step up, and I just did my best to try to step up.”

Friesen termed Morgan’s performance “terrific.”

“He knows his role on the team, and knows that when he gets a look, we expect him to put it up,” Friesen said. “In the first quarter, I think he had an opportunity – got a pass in the corner, and he actually passed up the shot. Every single guy on the team told him, ‘You’ve got to shoot the basketball. That’s why you’re on the floor – shoot the ball, man!’

“He stepped up really big, starting knocking down some shots, and that dunk is something he’ll probably remember for a while.”

Women’s Basketball: Cascades lock it down on defence in win over Griffins

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team kicked off its final home series of the fall semester in style, earning a big win over the MacEwan Griffins.  

The Cascades (2-1) relied on some pivotal three-point shooting and strong defence to hand the Griffins (2-1) their first loss of the season by a 72-61 score on Friday evening at the Envision Athletic Centre.

MacEwan, who came into the game shooting 47 per cent from the field and averaging 94.5 points per game, hit on just 33.3 per cent of their shots at the EAC.

The two teams renew hostilities on Saturday, tipping off at 5 p.m. on the UFV Abbotsford campus.

“We’re really respectful of MacEwan – they came into the league last year and really did a job on us,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer said, alluding to the fact the Griffins went a perfect 4-0 against UFV in 2014-15. “They’re well-coached and have some real quality veteran players, so they’re not sneaking up on anybody this year.

“I’m proud of the girls for how they executed the game plan,” he added. “They got gritty on at the defensive end of the floor and played hard, and played offence how we wanted to play.

“We’ve got a long ways to go, but it’s our closest to (a consistent) 40 minutes that we’ve probably had this year.”

The Cascades carried a one-point advantage into the second quarter, but a 9-0 run late in the half, paired with some tepid shooting from the Griffins, allowed UFV to take a 29-25 lead at halftime.

UFV opened up a 14-point lead on the visitors in the third quarter, as Kayli Sartori dropped 11 of her game-high 25 points.

They pushed the advantage to 20 points with a stretch of red-hot shooting from distance. Sydney Williams nailed treys on back-to-back possessions to end the third quarter, and Sartori and Shayna Cameron followed with triples of their own to open the fourth.

MacEwan wrestled back some momentum with a 14-3 run, led by Kendall Lydon and Paige Knull, but ultimately the deficit would prove to be too much.

“We stuck to the game plan and we got it done as a team,” said Sartori, who also hauled in a team-high nine rebounds. “Without every player on the team, we wouldn’t have been able to do it tonight.

“Ever since I’ve been playing here, we’ve been a defensive squad, and we’re only going to be a defensive squad. . . . We win games because we can shut teams down, and when we’re not doing that, we’re not winning games. Al does a good job of making sure we’re prepared.”

Cameron’s 18 points was second only to Sartori’s output, while Williams added 12 points, going 4-for-13 from three-point range. Rookie forward Taylor Claggett (11 points) also scored in double figures, and drew praise from Tuchscherer for her strong defence against MacEwan’s high-scoring all-star Megan Wood.

Wood still managed a team-high 17 points and nine rebounds, while Lydon put 13 points up on the board for the Griffins. Kelly Fagan also had a strong game, collecting eight boards and adding nine points.

Men’s Volleyball: Cascades fall in four to No. 1-ranked Camosun

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team dropped a four-set decision to the No. 1-ranked team in the nation – the Camosun Chargers – on the road on Friday evening.

The CCAA No. 13-ranked Cascades got off to a solid start in the first set, only to fade late and fall 25-19. They pushed the Chargers even harder in the second set, but Camosun eked out a 27-25 win. UFV broke through with a 25-23 triumph in the third, but the hosts closed out the match 25-12 in the fourth.

“I think if we’d won the second set, it would have changed the match,” Cascades head coach Kyle Donen analyzed. “Overall, I thought we played relatively well. We had some moments where we could have been better in certain situations. We know we can be better and continue to improve on what we’re doing.”

Right side Joel Kleingeltink, a PacWest second team all-star last season, was the Cascades’ offensive leader on Friday. Kleingeltink’s serve has only been working intermittently early in the season, but he rediscovered his mojo from the service line and boosted his team in that respect.

“He stood out in a big way, especially offensively,” Donen said.

The Cascades (4-3) and Chargers (7-0) lock horns again on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Women’s Volleyball: Cascades drop five-set marathon to Camosun

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team gave the top team in the PacWest all they could handle, before ultimately succumbing in five sets on the road in Victoria.

Taking on the Camosun Chargers, last season’s CCAA bronze medalists and the current No. 3-ranked team in the nation, the Cascades took two of the first three sets and held a five-point lead in the latter stages of the fourth.

But the host Chargers rallied to steal a 25-23 win in the fourth set, and they finished off the match in five (23-25, 25-19, 22-25, 25-23, 15-9).

In the aftermath, Cascades head coach Mike Gilray noted that his team “probably should have won in four,” but felt they made great strides as a group.

“I thought this was the best game we’ve played the entire year,” he said. “It was a two-hour marathon, point for point most of the way, and we got better as a team.

“We’re hoping to get better again tomorrow.”

The Cascades got another big game from middle Monique Huber, who registered nine kills on 20 attacks despite coming off a week of illness which caused her to miss three practices. Outside hitters Rachel Funk (12 kills, 10 digs) and Kelly Robertson (10 kills) also excelled for UFV, while libero Amy Davidson racked up 16 digs.

Camosun (6-1) and UFV (2-5) clash again on Saturday afternoon (1 p.m. start).

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