Women’s Volleyball (by Jordie Arthur, Cascades communications assistant): Cascades wrap up weekend sweep of Avalanche

For the second consecutive day, the University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team earned a four-set decision over the College of the Rockies Avalanche.

In a rare 11 a.m. start at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre, the Cascades prevailed by scores of 25-19, 25-14, 16-25 and 25-18 to boost their record to 4-2, good for second in the PACWEST. The Avalanche fell to 3-3.

“We’re getting better every weekend,” Cascades head coach Janelle Rozema said afterward. “I’m glad they put some pressure on us this weekend so we could see how we’d respond. I thought we responded really well.

“They made a switch-up in the third set with putting their best hitter (Taylor Whittall) at left side, so it was an adjustment on how to contain her. It took us a little too long in the third set, but in the fourth we started figuring it out.”

The Avalanche came out flying to open the match, grabbing a 6-1 lead off of an Ecaterina Arabadji service run. The Cascades would battle back, though, with Kara Williams serving for seven straight points to give them a 19-15 lead. The hosts would not relinquish that advantage, as Lauren Poirier racked up two aces late to seal it 25-19.

UFV carried that momentum into the second, taking a 13-5 lead after a seven-point serving run by Chelsea Kidd, and they went on to take it 25-14.

COTR found some traction in the third, building an 18-14 lead before Katie Friesen stepped up to serve for five straight points. The visitors eventually closed it out 25-16 to extend the match.

The Cascades regained control in the fourth, with Amanda Matsui securing multiple important kills early, finishing the match with a 25-18 set victory.

Matsui’s 11 kills and 12 digs were both team-highs, Sedona Arabsky racked up nine kills on just 13 swings for a .692 efficiency, and Kristen McBride added seven kills and two aces. Libero Cassidy King and McBride had nine digs apiece.

Whittall led the Avalanche in kills for the second straight night with 10, Chantelle Dobie had seven kills, and Megan Clark registered 13 digs.

The Cascades volleyball teams are back in action next weekend at home, hosting the Camosun Chargers in a Friday/Saturday set.

Men’s Volleyball (by Jordie Arthur, Cascades communications assistant): Avalanche rally to edge Cascades in five sets

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team started strong, but could not hold on as they dropped a five-set decision to the College of the Rockies Avalanche on Sunday afternoon at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

The two teams had clashed the previous night with the Cascades prevailing in three sets, but it was a much different story on Sunday with the Avalanche securing the win by scores of 21-25, 25-18, 21-25, 25-23 and 15-8. With the win the Avalanche improve to 2-4, while the Cascades see their record drop to 3-3.

“I thought our level of engagement wasn’t where it needed to be today,” UFV head coach Nathan Bennett said. “We had opportunities against a road-weary team, and this was a chance where we really could have put them away. But we let them back in, and good teams take their opportunities like they did. I commend them for their effort. COTR did a good job.”

In the first set the Cascades picked up where they’d left off the night before, building a 21-15 lead off tough serving by Graham Walkey and Landon Uy, before closing it out 25-21.

The Avalanche bounced back in the second, jumping out to a 17-9 advantage, before finishing it off 25-18.

Shubdeep Wander came alive for the Cascades in the third. The third-year outside hitter had three kills and three aces early to stake his team to a 9-3 lead, but the Avalanche fought back to square it at 11 apiece. The teams traded points in the middle portion of the set but with the score at 21-20 in favour of the Cascades, Dylan Neudorf came through with a critical block and then a kill, extending their advantage to 23-20. A Wander kill would seal it, 25-21.

The Cascades looked to be in control in the fourth set, leading 20-17 after Wander hit back-to-back service aces. However, the visitors fought back once again to level the score at 23, and Caleb Peters secured a block and a kill in quick succession to finish it 25-23.

Peters continued to come up big for the College of the Rockies in the fifth, serving for four straight points to give his team a 9-3 lead. The visitors would not give up this edge and the clinched the decisive set 15-8.

Wander was dominant at the service line, finishing with seven aces for the Cascades and adding nine kills. Walkey registered four aces and 31 assists. Uy posted a team-high 14 kills, Justin Peleshytyk had seven, and Neudorf and Caleb Kastelein had five apiece.

Peters had a huge game for the Avalanche, hammering 17 kills on 26 swings and posting a .500 hitting percentage. Gustavo Bertoli also notched double-digit kills with 12.

The Cascades volleyball teams are back in action next weekend at home, hosting the Camosun Chargers in a Friday/Saturday set.

Women’s Soccer ( with files from Mark Janzen, TWU Athletics): Cascades fall to Spartans in Canada West quarter-finals

For the third year in a row, the University of the Fraser Valley women’s soccer team saw its season come to an end with a one-goal loss to the Trinity Western Spartans in the Canada West quarter-finals.


The Cascades played the No. 2-ranked team in the nation tough on their own pitch on Sunday afternoon, but the Spartans secured a 2-1 victory with Jenaya Robertson’s goal in the 62nd minute the difference. They advance to the CW Final Four in Edmonton next weekend, hosted by the MacEwan Griffins.

Brittney Zacharuk, in what would turn out to be the final game of her highly decorated five-year career, scored the Cascades’ lone goal in the 56th minute, temporarily leveling the score after TWU’s Rachel Hutchinson had broken the ice in the first half.

“We battled hard, and I’m very proud of how we played,” Zacharuk said afterward. “Even going a goal down in the first half, our mindset didn’t change. We knew we were still in it.

“Down 2-1, we were still going at them, and I’m so proud of this team and the mindset. I can’t wait to see where they go from here.”

Hutchinson, who had scored TWU’s lone goal in each of their previous 1-0 quarter-final wins over UFV in 2017 and 2018, opened the scoring in the 21st minute off a corner. She found her way to a loose ball in the six-yard box and blasted it home.

The Cascades made some lineup changes at the half – among them, shifting Zacharuk to left back to combat Hutchinson’s pace on the right wing. The UFV squad surged, and Zacharuk provided a moment of brilliance in the 56th when she scored directly from a corner, wrapping the ball around the near post.

However, CW goal-scoring leader Robertson rescued the Spartans seven minutes later, running onto a pass from Syd Duquette and slotting the ball past Cascades keeper Andrea Perkovic from 15 yards out.

The Cascades continued to press, owning the majority of territorial play down the stretch, but were unable to find the finishing touch in the final third.

“First half, I thought we were just too passive in how we attacked,” UFV head coach Rob Giesbrecht summarized. “We were just hopeful . . . It really played into their hands and allowed them to attack us more.

“Second half, I thought our mindset was more confident and we played with more conviction. We got players forward and we got corners.

“The girls played their hearts out, and I’m really proud of them.”

The Cascades’ entire roster is eligible to return next season with the exception of fifth-year captain Zacharuk, who closes the book on her UFV career at least a share of all the program’s most significant career offence records: goals, assists and points.

“This has been a big part of my life,” she said post-game. “It’s shaped who I am as a person, all the people that I’ve encountered.”

“The five-year eligibility thing, you think it’s so long, but then it comes to the end and you just want more time with a kid like that,” Giesbrecht said of Zacharuk. “She’s a great player, but she’s even a better person. We’ll miss her leadership, we’ll miss who she is as a person.”

GOLF: Strong runner-up results for Cascades teams at NCU Invitational

The University of the Fraser Valley golf program closed the book on its fall season with a series of outstanding performances at the Northwest Christian University Invitational in Creswell, Oregon on the weekend.

Playing at Emerald Valley Golf Club, the Cascades women’s and men’s teams both finished second overall.


The UFV women’s squad posted a combined score of +68 over 36 holes Saturday and Sunday, finishing as runners-up behind the Victoria Vikes (+44) and easily outdistancing the other three teams in the field.

The Cascades were led by Sarah Lawrence, who tied for individual medalist honours with UVic’s Sukriti Harjai at +7 for the weekend, firing rounds of 78 and 73. Natasha Kozlowski (+17, 6th), Sharon Park (+19, T-7th) and Emery Bardock (+25, 11th) also finished in the top half of the field.

On the men’s side, the Cascades’ team score of +5 for the weekend was good for second place, only trailing the Oregon State Beavers of the NCAA’s Pac-12 conference who were at -17. North Idaho College (+16) and host NCU (+22) were third and fourth, respectively, in the eight-team field.

Wyatt Brook set the pace for the Cascades, carding rounds of 71 and 69 to finish tied for third at -4. Zach Olson (+2, T-7th) also notched a top-10 finish, and Daniel Campbell (+5, T-13th), Halen Davis (+6, 15th) and Kyle Claggett (+11, T-18th) rounded out the UFV contingent.

The Cascades golf teams return to action in the spring – the next scheduled event is The Joust at Goose Creek, an NCAA D1 event hosted by California Baptist University in Jurupa Valley, Calif., which the men’s team will participate in Feb. 23-25. Both UFV teams have also qualified for the Canadian University/College Championships, which will be held in Quebec in late May/early June.

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