Abbotsford, BC (With files from TRU WolfPack sports information)Men’s Basketball: Cascades fall to WolfPack

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team found themselves behind early against the Thompson Rivers WolfPack on Friday, and despite a spirited comeback attempt led by Vijay Dhillon, they ultimately fell 89-75 in Kamloops.

The WolfPack (6-1) have sole possession of first place in the Explorer Division by virtue of the victory. The Cascades (5-2) are a game back, but can draw even with a win in Saturday’s rematch (7 p.m. tip-off, webcast at ufv.canadawest.tv).

“We gave it our best shot,” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen said. “They played really well. I liked that we kept fighting. We battled back. We knew today was going to be tough. We competed as hard as we could.”

The host WolfPack ended the first quarter on an 8-0 run, highlighted by three-pointers from their post players Volodymyr Iegorov and Josh Wolfram. That gave them a 25-15 cushion, and from that point, they led by double digits for all but 19 seconds of game action.

TRU pushed the margin to 20 on Reese Pribilsky’s three-pointer at the end of the third quarter, but Dhillon and the Cascades refused to go quietly. The fourth-year guard from Richmond, B.C. swished eight three-pointers on night, including seven in the second half, and helped his team chop the deficit down to 74-62 with 6:20 left in regulation. The WolfPack, though, responded with a 9-0 run to reassert control.

Dhillon finished with a game-high 26 points, while Kevon Parchment racked up 15 points and eight assists. Nav Bains and Brandon Burke chipped in with 10 points apiece, while Matt Cooley snared 10 rebounds.

All five TRU starters scored in double figures, led by Iegorov (22 points), Luke Morris (21 points, 10 rebounds) and Wolfram (17 points, 18 rebounds).

“We are really banged up,” said Friesen, alluding to injuries that have sidelined starters Nate Brown and Mark Johnson. “Vijay is one of our few healthy bodies at the moment. He knew he had to come in here and be aggressive. He really stepped up and played well.”

“We are going to have to find a way to clamp down on defence,” Friesen added. “Offensively things will always be tough for us currently. We need to find a way to get stops and limit rebounds.”

Women’s Basketball: WolfPack edge Cascades 67-62 in Kamloops

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team dropped a 67-62 decision to the Thompson Rivers WolfPack on the road on Friday evening in Kamloops.

The Cascades fell behind by 10 points in the third quarter, but battled back to tie it 44-44 early in the fourth after Hailey Kendall hit a three-pointer. The host WolfPack, though, responded with a 12-2 run to regain control, highlighted by six points from Taiysa Worsfold.

UFV (4-3) was able to claw back to within three points with a minute left in regulation, but TRU (5-2) fended them off down the stretch to improve to 5-2 on the season.

“Really, a step back from us tonight with respect to our chemistry and how we flow (offensively),” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer analyzed afterward. “I thought Thompson Rivers made us play at a different pace, and we regressed instead of adapted.

“If it’s going to be a bunch of one-on-one basketball and holding the basketball, that’s not going to work for us.”

The two teams clash again tomorrow in Kamloops. Tip-off is at 5 p.m., and the game can be viewed live online at ufv.canadawest.tv.

Individual statistics were not available immediately post-game due to technical issues.

Neither team shot the ball terribly well – the Cascades hit 35.8 per cent of their attempts from the field, while the WolfPack shot 32.9 per cent. But TRU won the battle of the boards decisively, 52-35.

“Instead of letting that team push us to another level, we went back to old habits,” Tuchscherer said. “It’s unfortunate, but we’ll have to learn and figure it out.”

Men’s Volleyball: Cascades claw back for dramatic five-set victory over Capilano

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team outlasted the Capilano Blues in a marathon match on Friday evening at the Envision Athletic Centre.

The two teams alternated wins over the first four sets, then engaged in a wild fifth set that saw the Cascades fend off three Capilano match points to prevail 18-16.

The CCAA No. 15-ranked Cascades improved to 4-0 at home and 6-5 overall in PacWest regular season action, while the Blues fell to 4-7. The two teams lock horns again on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the EAC.

UFV head coach Kyle Donen termed Friday’s tilt “a roller-coaster.”

“That’s sort of felt like what we were on the whole night,” he said with a wry grin. “I don’t feel it was a great match for us – we could have done better. But at the end of the day, we still found a way to scrounge out the win we wanted.

“They frustrated us at times, and we let that hurt us. I think we need to be better-disciplined tomorrow.”

The Blues won the first and third sets by scores of 25-17 and 25-23, and on each occasion the Cascades bounced back immediately to claim the second and fourth sets by 25-21 and 25-23 counts.

In the fifth, the Cascades faced deficits of 8-4 and 13-10. But fifth-year left side Adam Chaplin responded with a service run, highlighted by two aces – one which hit the tape but rolled over onto the Blues’ side of the net – to tie it 13-13.

UFV would still have to weather three match points for Capilano, but they survived each time and finally surged ahead to win 18-16.

“To take a team to the fifth set is always crazy, and to go past 15 in that set is even more crazy,” Chaplin said with a chuckle. “It’s so emotional for everyone at that point.

“It comes down to which team is going to get lucky at the end there.”

Saturday’s rematch, in Chaplin’s estimation, has the potential to be another barn-burner.

“They’re going to come back out firing,” he said. “There’s no doubt in my mind or in any of the rest of our team that they’re going to come out fighting even harder tomorrow to pass that barrier where we stopped them at the end of that fifth set.”

Women’s Volleyball: Cascades upset No. 7-ranked Blues

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team staged a breakthrough performance on Friday evening, knocking off the Capilano Blues in four sets at the Envision Athletic Centre.

The Blues came in ranked No. 7 in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), and had swept a pair of games against the first-place Camosun Chargers the previous weekend.

But the Cascades excelled on defence and rode a balanced attack to a 25-23, 11-25, 25-22, 25-23 victory. UFV improved to 4-7, while Capilano now sits at 7-4. The two teams renew hostilities on Saturday at the Envision Athletic Centre (5 p.m. start).

“It’s great to pull out the win,” Cascades head coach Mike Gilray said. “We’ve been making that commitment to controlling our side of the court, and I think that’s what we did today.”

The hosts started strong, building a six-point lead midway through the first set, but the Blues staged a lightning-quick rally to surge ahead 23-22. But the Cascades reeled off the next three points to stake themselves to the early advantage.

The second set was all Capilano, but UFV bounced back in the third. With the score tied 20-20, two Kelly Robertson kills bookended a spectacular service run by Monique Huber, which saw the third-year middle unleash three straight aces.

In a hard-fought fourth set, the Cascades sealed the deal on a clutch kill by Huber.

“I think it definitely pumps us up, and just makes us more motivated to come out tomorrow guns blazing and play as hard as we do play and control our side,” UFV middle Mandelyn Erikson said.

Erikson was one of the offensive catalysts for the Cascades, racking up 11 kills. Robertson had a team-high 12 kills, while Huber’s 14 offensive points included five aces.

Libero Amy Davidson accounted for 23 of UFV’s 70 digs, and Gilray credited the team’s strong blocking for slowing down the Blues’ high-octane offence.

“Our blocking and defence were definitely what led us tonight,” he said. “I thought we did a great job of containing two excellent hitters in (Alexis) Sebok and Kira (Sutcliffe) . . .  We only had three actual blocks that won us points, but we had a lot of slow-downs. We had 25 digs in one game and 15 in another, and I think that just says so much about what our blocking was doing.”

 

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