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UFV Sports Saturday

Men’s Basketball: Fast-starting Cougars earn big win over Cascades in Regina

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team had a tough night on the road, dropping a 98-57 decision to the Regina Cougars on Saturday.

The Cascades had battled the Cougars tooth and nail on Friday evening, ultimately falling 74-64 after being tied at the end of the third quarter. Saturday’s rematch was a different story – Regina controlled the game from the outset, opening on an 11-2 run and leading 28-12 at the end of the first quarter. The Cascades stuck with the Cougars in the second, both teams mustering 12 points in the frame, but the hosts pulled away after the break. They outscored UFV by a 32-20 margin in the third, then by a 26-15 count in the fourth as both teams gave their bench players extended minutes.

Regina improves to 3-1, while UFV falls to 1-5 in Canada West play.

Vick Toor led the Cascades in scoring for the second straight night – the rookie point guard posted 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field to go with four assists. But he was the lone double-figure scorer for UFV. Daniel Adediran and Matt Cooley registered nine points apiece, and Adediran hauled down a game-high 12 rebounds.

Fifth-year forward Brian Ofori was the Cougars’ catalyst, racking up 20 points (going 4-of-5 from three-point range), 10 boards, four steals and three assists. Brandon Tull (15 points), Shaquille Harris (13), Shawn Lathan (12) and Samuel Hillis (12) also chipped in offensively.

The Cascades held their own on the boards, edging the Cougars 47-45 thanks in large part to Adediran, but they turned the ball over 22 times compared to just eight for the hosts. Regina’s offence was sparked by high-volume shooting from beyond the arc – they hit 14-of-36 attempts from downtown.

The Cascades basketball teams return to the Envision Financial Athletic Centre next weekend to host the Winnipeg Wesmen. Games run Friday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Saturday (women 5 p.m., men 7 p.m.).

Women’s Basketball: Cascades take No. 1-ranked Cougars down to the wire, fall 68-60

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team pushed the No. 1-ranked team in the nation to the limit on Saturday evening, but the host Regina Cougars were able to claw out a 68-60 victory.

The Cascades, one night after dropping a 100-61 decision to the Cougars, turned in an outstanding defensive effort in the rematch, limiting the high-powered Regina squad to 31.3 per cent shooting from the field.

UFV, after trailing by as many as 10 points in the first quarter, battled back to erase the deficit in the second, hung tough in the third, and opened the fourth on a 10-0 run to seize a 54-49 lead. The Cougars responded with a 12-2 run of their own to surge ahead, but UFV senior guard Sara Simovic converted a clutch four-point play with a minute and a half left to cut the deficit to 61-60.

On the ensuing Regina possession, the Cascades played some solid defence highlighted by a blocked shot from Katelyn Mallette. But late in the shot clock, the Cougars tracked down a loose ball near midcourt and Michaela Kleisinger launched a desperation triple from well behind the arc. It splashed through to give the hosts a 64-60 lead with a minute left, and from there, they put the finishing touches on the win.

Regina improved to 4-0, while the Cascades are 2-4 in Canada West conference play.

“It’s disappointing to not get the W, but I’m really happy with how the girls bounced back and competed tonight,” UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer said afterward. “The last minute and a half was disappointing, but for the most part, that’s what you get when you’ve got a bunch of young kids out there.

“We grew a lot. Today we talked about how to beat Regina, and throughout the game, our timeouts were about what we wanted to do tactically. It wasn’t about effort – they brought that themselves tonight. I think that was an important step for us. They were motivated to play.”

For the second straight night, the Cascades were without leading scorer Shayna Litman due to injury. But they were undeterred, and got a terrific performance out of Simovic, who hit 4-of-6 attempts from three-point range en route to 15 points, to go with five rebounds and four assists. Taylor Claggett tied her for team-high scoring honours and added 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the season.

Rookie forward Mallette, starting for the second straight night in Litman’s absence, anchored the defence with an outstanding six-block effort. Jessica Zawada poured in 11 points off the bench, and Amanda Thompson had nine points and four steals.

Regina’s Kleisinger went 5-for-7 from beyond the arc to account for all of her 15 points, and star point guard Kyanna Giles matched her for team-high scoring honours, albeit on 3-for-13 shooting. Though the Cougars struggled offensively, they won the rebounding (43-35) and turnover (27-19) battles, which allowed them to hoist an additional 16 attempts from the field.

The Cascades basketball teams return to the Envision Financial Athletic Centre next weekend to host the Winnipeg Wesmen. Games run Friday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Saturday (women 5 p.m., men 7 p.m.).

Men’s Volleyball: Cascades bounce back for big win over Royals

After spotting the Douglas Royals a one-set lead on Saturday evening, the University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team found its form, winning the next three to earn a weekend split at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

The Royals, coming off a four-set win on Friday, picked up where they’d left off, rolling to a 25-18 win in Saturday’s opener. But the Cascades came roaring back, taking the next three sets by scores of 25-20, 25-20 and 25-23.

UFV improved to 3-5, good for fifth place in the PACWEST conference, while the fourth-place Royals (5-5) fell back to the .500 mark.

“It was a good overall team performance,” Cascades head coach Kyle Donen said. “I thought from the get-go we had a little bit of a struggle in that first set, but I thought we found our groove the rest of the way.

“Some different guys were successful today for us, which is great to see. Overall, I’m happy with the weekend, at least the way that it finished.”

Ben Friesen helped the Cascades get back on track in the second set – the third-year left side racked up six kills in the frame.

The Cascades’ prowess at the net was the story in the third set – all seven of their blocks on the night came in the third, with two apiece from setter Adam Frederickson and middle Dayton Pagliericci.

In the fourth, after UFV built a 24-21 lead, the Royals saved the first two match points but ended it in anticlimactic fashion with a service error.

“I thought we did a better job of sustaining pressure,” Donen said, reflecting on how his team turned the momentum in sets two through four. “We were making some errors in that first set that were just giving them points.

“I just felt like we played a smarter game in sets two, three and four, and at the end of the day, we prevailed heavily because of that. I’m happy with the way we were able to finish.”

Friesen paced the offence with 13 kills, and fellow left side Nick Bruce chipped in with eight kills. Bruce, with 11 digs, was one of three Cascades in double digits, along with right side Matt Whittall (14) and libero Evan Bell-Foley (10).

The Cascades are back in action at home next weekend, taking on the College of the Rockies Avalanche on Saturday and Sunday.

Women’s Volleyball: Royals fashion four-set win over Cascades

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team won the opening set in epic fashion, but the Douglas Royals battled back to win the next three and claim a weekend sweep at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

In a match-up of top-10 nationally ranked teams, the No. 3 Royals had drawn first blood, knocking off the No. 7 Cascades in four sets on Friday.

UFV regrouped for the rematch, winning a thrilling first set 32-30. Both teams staved off multiple set points, with Cascades outside hitter Cassidy Pearson giving her team a lift with a highlight-reel dig on a Douglas set point. UFV eventually ended matters with three straight points – a block and an ace from middle Teagan Johnstone, and a huge kill from left side Kim Bauder.

The Cascades were unable to ride that momentum, though. The Royals were in the driver’s seat for the balance of the match, taking the next three sets by scores of 25-18, 25-23 and 25-16.

“Tonight, we started out really strong and we battled with that team,” UFV assistant coach David Dooley said. “We faced extreme adversity in that first set – we faced a few set points, and a couple of really tough errors that we made that could have totally taken the wind out of our sails. But we persevered.

“And then, to me, we lost a little bit of our touch on the ball. I don’t know what it was, but the errors really started creeping into our game. When you’re giving your opponent 12 points a set, it’s really hard to win.”

Bauder and Pearson tied for team-high honours with 14 kills apiece, and Bauder posted a sparkling 2.31 rating on serve receive. Libero Cassidy King accounted for 27 of UFV’s 79 total digs.

The Cascades are back in action at home next weekend, hosting the College of the Rockies Avalanche on Saturday and Sunday.

“I think for us, we learn more from our losses than our wins,” Bauder said. “I think this was a good weekend for us to learn a lot about ourselves. We had some adversity with injuries, and we had a bunch of different players playing different roles and different positions. I think we can go from here and build on some of the good things that we did.”

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