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UFV Sports Saturday

Abbotsford, BC (Russell Arbuthnot, UFV Cascades communications staff) –Men’s Basketball: Cougars weather Dulay’s buzzer-beater, top Cascades in OT

In one of the more surreal endings to a game in recent Canada West men’s basketball history, the Mount Royal Cougars upended the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades 86-71 in overtime on Saturday evening.

The host Cascades, after leading by double digits in the first half, found themselves down by seven points with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. But the hosts staged a furious rally, capped by an incredible buzzer-beater by Manny Dulay to force OT.

With UFV trailing 66-63, Marcus Morgan inbounded the ball to Dulay with 2.4 seconds left in regulation. The fourth-year guard out of Surrey, B.C. took two dribbles to his right and heaved a contested shot from well beyond the arc. The ball swished through, thrilling the partisan crowd at the Envision Athletic Centre.

But UFV had only eight players available on this night due to injury and illness, and three of them had already fouled out. In the first minute and a half of OT, the Cascades’ Nate Brown and Brandon Burke each picked up their fifth and disqualifying fouls, leaving UFV with just three players on the court – Dulay, Morgan and Vijay Dhillon. The Cougars out-scored the shorthanded Cascades 20-5 in the extra session.

Mount Royal improved to 3-7 on the season, which leaves them tied for fifth in the Explorer Division. Second-place UFV is 6-4.

In the aftermath, Cascades head coach Adam Friesen said that all the late-game drama aside, his team simply didn’t play well enough to win.

“The ending happened, and the weirdness of five guys being fouled out was what that was,” said Friesen, whose team had beaten Mount Royal 89-75 on Friday.

“Unfortunately we had some injuries and health issues. But I actually have seen a game go five-on-four before, so that wasn’t the first time.

“But the bigger thing was that we just didn’t come out with the focus or energy or motivation enough to play tonight. That was unfortunate, and it provides us a lesson.”

First-year forward Brett Layton paced the victorious Cougars, posting 22 points and bringing down a ridiculous 24 rebounds for an impressive double-double. James Lefebvre also had a standout game for MRU, notching 19 points.

Dulay led the Cascades with 19 points, going 5-for-7 from downtown, while Dhillon followed closely behind with 18. Kevon Parchment put up a double-double for the home team with 12 points and 16 boards.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game like that in my life,” Dulay said afterward. “The main thing for our team is to learn from it.”

At the end of regulation, Dulay had two shots to tie it – he missed a three-pointer from the wing with less than 10 seconds left, but he got another try after the Cougars knocked the rebound out of bounds.

“I kind of wanted to redeem myself for the first miss,” he said. “I got the ball, went middle, and then I honestly just tried making sure the ball was going towards the hoop. I kept looking at it and it looked like it was going long, but it was on line. And then when it went in, I just turned around – there was nothing to say. I thought it was a fluke, but it went in.”

The Cascades will welcome the UNBC Timberwolves to the Envision Athletic Centre next weekend.  They’ll tip off on Friday evening at 8 p.m. and again on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Mount Royal’s schedule sees them take on the UBCO Heat at home next Friday and Saturday. Friday’s game is set for a 7 p.m. start while the two teams renew hostilities on Saturday at 8 p.m.

Women’s Basketball: Cascades cap weekend sweep with gritty win over Cougars

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team (6-4) leaned on some strong rebounding and a little resiliency en route to a 64-52 win over the Mount Royal University Cougars (1-9) at the Envision Athletic Centre on Saturday night.

The Cougars hung with the Cascades for much of the evening, and were level at 37-37 late in the third quarter. But UFV, coming off a 73-58 win vs. Mount Royal on Friday, responded with a 16-4 run bridging the third and fourth quarters to seize control.

The grit the Cascades brought to the gym on Saturday yielded a 42-28 edge over the taller Cougars in the rebounding department.

“I was really happy with our effort tonight,” UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer said afterward. “I don’t think it was just rebounding, either – it was a grittier performance, and I that showed up in a lot of the stats. . . . We were on the ground a lot tonight, getting after the 50-50 stuff. If we’re doing those things, we become that tough, gritty team we want to be.”

Fans in attendance saw a much more measured performance from both teams than what had been displayed the night before, when UFV erupted to take a 25-point lead at halftime.

The Cascades jumped out to a 17-11 advantage after the first quarter, thanks in large part to 10 points from Kayli Sartori. Unlike the night before, however, the Cougars kept pace as the teams entered the halftime break with UFV maintaining their six-point advantage.

Seven straight points from the Cougars’ Michelle Tiffany drew her team even at 37-37 in the third quarter, but UFV responded with an 8-2 run of their own to regain the advantage. A buzzer-beating layup from Tiffany would draw Mount Royal to within three as the teams entered the final frame with UFV holding onto a 45-42 lead.

UFV would take control in the fourth quarter, opening the stanza with a 12-2 run to open a 14-point lead. The deficit would prove too much for Mount Royal to overcome.

“Mount Royal is a well-coached team,” Tuchscherer asserted. “They run a lot of zone stuff (defensively), a lot of full-court pressure stuff, that we quite frankly just don’t see a lot. It’s a real different look to play this team, and then they play hard. A lot of credit goes to them, and for us to answer that was a bit of a step for us tonight.”

Tiffany had a phenomenal night off the bench for the Cougars. She came into Saturday’s tilt averaging 2.9 points per game, having totaled just 20 points during MRU’s conference schedule. But she more than doubled that, racking up a game-high 23 points on 10-of-11 shooting from the field and 3-of-3 from beyond the arc.

Angela Driscoll also had a strong game for Mount Royal, pouring in 14 points and adding four assists.

Canada West scoring leader Sartori paced the Cascades with 21 points while posting four assists and pulling down 10 boards. Rookie standout Taylor Claggett also had a double-double for UFV, notching 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Shayna Cameron chipped in with 11 point and seven boards.

Sartori was pleased with the way her team battled against the Cougars.

“When we get a challenge against a team with a girl who’s 6’4” (MRU’s Becky Nash), there’s no other way but embracing the tough,” she said. “We boarded as hard as we could, we tried to get our hands on as many balls as we could, we threw our bodies on the ground. We’re all bruised, banged up and sore – we’re feeling it, most definitely.”

The Cascades welcome the UNBC Timberwolves (1-9) to the Envision Athletic Centre for a pair of games next weekend. The action gets underway on Friday at 6 p.m. while Saturday’s game is set to tip off at 5 p.m.

Mount Royal returns home for a weekend series versus UBCO Heat (6-3), tipping off on Friday at 6 p.m. MST. Game two goes Saturday at 5 p.m. 

Men’s Volleyball: Cascades break through vs. Chargers, notch upset win over nation’s No. 1-ranked team

Upset wins typically arrive like thunderbolts out of the blue, but the one that the University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team earned on Saturday afternoon felt like it had been a long time coming.

In each of their previous two match-ups with the Camosun Chargers – Nov. 14 in Victoria, and Friday evening at UFV’s Student Activity Centre – the Cascades had suffered gut-wrenching five-set defeats.

There’s no shame in losing to the Chargers, far from it. They’re the reigning Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) national champions, they’re currently ranked No. 1 in the nation, and they owned a flawless 13-0 record heading into Saturday’s action.

But the CCAA No. 15-ranked Cascades were eager to assert themselves as being among the nation’s elite, and on Saturday, they finally got over the hump against Camosun (21-25, 26-24, 25-22, 19-25, 15-9).

“This is huge,” UFV right side Joel Kleingeltink enthused afterward. “Obviously it’s a great team over there – national champions, undefeated first semester. And losing to them twice in five sets – once on their court, once on ours – it’s one of those things where you’re like, ‘Man, can we do it?’

“We had to prove to ourselves that we are capable of beating this team, and being one of the best teams in the country. We proved that tonight, which is great moving forward.”

After dropping the first set, the Cascades steadied themselves and won the next two. But after UFV built a four-point lead early in the fourth, the visitors clawed their way back and won comfortably to force a fifth set.

Camosun raced out to a 7-4 lead in the fifth, and Cascades head coach Kyle Donen acknowledged later that the thought “Not again” crossed his mind.

But the Chargers would register just two more points after that juncture, as UFV rode some tough serving from Joel Kleingeltink and Robert Bauerfind – and a lot of energy from the crowd – to a 15-9 victory.

The Cascades improved to 8-6, good for third in the PacWest, while the first-place Chargers are now 13-1.

“This gives us huge momentum and confidence going forward,” Donen acknowledged. “This is just one game in the second semester, and we know if we can string a few more like that together, it’ll mean more when it comes to the playoffs and everything else. For us to beat that team, and to do it the way we did, it’ll mean a lot for these guys.

“I thought Adam Chaplin played great tonight, and (libero) Isaiah (Dahl) made some key digs when we needed to,” Donen added. “The only thing that hurt us at times was some inconsistent serving, but luckily we found it in the end when we needed it most.

“In the end, we made a few more plays that really propelled us to a big win.”

The Cascades volleyball teams hit the road next weekend to take on the Vancouver Island University Mariners in Nanaimo. Games run Friday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Saturday (women 1 p.m., men 3 p.m.).

Women’s Volleyball: Cascades cap weekend sweep with four-set victory over Camosun

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team dug deep on defence to complete a weekend sweep of the Camosun Chargers.

The Cascades combined for an impressive 78 digs in Saturday afternoon’s four-set triumph (25-18, 19-25, 25-20, 25-22) at the Student Activity Centre, with five players in double figures: Kara Williams (16), Amy Davidson (14), Rachel Funk (14), Nicole Blandford (13) and Kelly Robertson (11).

Outside hitters Funk and Robertson led the charge offensively with 12 kills apiece, and rookie Keira Fisher stepped into the starting lineup in place of injured middle Mandelyn Erikson to register eight kills on 57 per cent hitting.

The Cascades improved to 6-8 on the season, good for fifth place in the PacWest. The Chargers, ranked No. 9 in the nation heading into the weekend, are tied for second in the conference at 8-6.

“The thing that made it exciting for us was, we played such a better volleyball game (than on Friday),” UFV head coach Mike Gilray said. “It was nice to pull out the win last night, but if you look at the stats, it was a sloppy game for both sides – low percentages hitting, bad passing stats.

“We had a much more consistent game today.”

A big part of that consistency was the ability of the Cascades’ blockers to slow down the Chargers’ attack by getting touches on the ball.

“The continuous slowdowns meant that our blockers were on time and pressing and doing the right things with their hands,” Gilray said. “The only way your digs are getting that high are if your blockers are doing a good job of funneling the ball to you or slowing it down.”

Fisher, in particular, did a phenomenal job in place of Erikson, who went down with an ankle injury in the late stages of Friday’s game. Gilray called her “the best middle on the floor from both sides today.”

“It’s a little nerve-wracking coming in and having to fill as big of shoes as Mandelyn’s, because she’s got a huge leadership role and she’s a big influence on the team,” Fisher said. “But I kind of just wanted to go out there and play and have fun, and do what I could for my team.”

The Cascades volleyball teams hit the road next weekend to take on the Vancouver Island University Mariners in Nanaimo. Game run Friday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Saturday (women 1 p.m., men 3 p.m.).

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