Men’s Basketball( with files from David Larkins, Wesmen Athletics) : Wesmen fend off Cascades 77-75 in season opener

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team rallied in the late going, but came up empty on a pair of shots in the dying seconds en route to a 77-75 loss to the Winnipeg Wesmen on the road Friday evening.

On the opening night of the Canada West basketball season, the Cascades trailed by nine points with four and a half minutes left, but battled back to cut the deficit to two with possession on a sideline inbounds with 5.5 seconds left in regulation.

Parm Bains kicked it out to Kenan Hadzovic for a potential game-winning three-pointer, but Winnipeg’s DJ Dixon came up with an incredible defensive play, soaring to get a piece of the ball. It went out of bounds for UFV possession with 0.3 left, and Bains’s desperation attempt from the right wing came up short.

The two teams renew hostilities on Saturday (3 p.m. PT, to wrap up the weekend set.

“I thought we showed really good character out there, battling back,” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen said. “That’s a heck of a team – Narcisse (Ambanza, Wesmen fourth-year guard) was fantastic. But we didn’t give up, and I was proud of the guys for that.

“We’ll watch tape and see how we can play a little bit smarter, but when we play with energy, more good things happen. We just had a few lulls where the ball doesn’t move quite as much. Defensively we’re not quite as active on the weak side, and we paid the price for that.”

The Cascades had a solid start, with Matt Cooley opening the game with a thunderous dunk and Bains following up with seven straight UFV points to give the visitors an early 9-8 lead. But the basket at UFV’s offensive end seemed to have a lid on it from that point, as the Cascades struggled to finish inside and found themselves down 21-12 at the end of the frame.

UFV ended the second quarter on a 10-2 run, capped by Sukhjot Bains’s three-pointer, to draw level at 36-36 at the half. But the Wesmen came out of the locker room dialed in, going on a 13-3 run of their own to grab a 49-39 lead.

The Cascades would chip away throughout the fourth, ultimately cutting the deficit to 75-73 on Sukhraj Bains’s and-one layup with 1:11 left. Ambanza answered with a tough leaning jumper, but Hadzovic got to the offensive glass for a putback to get UFV back to within two.

Winnipeg appeared to be in a position to shoot free throws to seal it, with a sideline inbounds with 5.5 seconds remaining. The Cascades dug in on defence to force a five-second violation, getting the ball back with a chance to tie or win, but were unable to finish in the dying seconds.

Sukhjot Bains poured in 23 points and added nine rebounds for the Cascades, and Parm Bains and Hadzovic had 18 points apiece. UFV shot 43.8 per cent from three-point range while winning the rebounding battle 48-41, but struggled from the free throw line (7-for-15) and with their efficiency inside the arc (38 per cent overall from the field).

Ambanza swished six three-pointers on his way to a game-high 25 points, and Billy Yaworsky (12 points, 3-for-6 from three) also chipped in offensively for the Wesmen.

Women’s Basketball: Cascades’ comeback falls short on opening night

An epic comeback effort ran out of gas in the fourth quarter for the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team, as they fell 77-62 on the road to the Winnipeg Wesmen on Friday as the Canada West regular season opened.

The Wesmen had a strong first quarter, racing out to a 24-11 lead, and surged ahead by as many as 18 points in the third. The Cascades battled back to cut the deficit to 58-54 with six and a half minutes left in regulation, but the hosts answered with an 11-0 run to salt the game away.

The Cascades get another crack at the Wesmen on Saturday to conclude the weekend series (5 p.m. PT,

“I just don’t think we understand what it takes to win at this level yet,” UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer said afterward. “We’re not doing the little things – when we made those runs, we just needed to dig in a little bit and get a stop, and we just couldn’t put another stop together.

“They beat us to a lot of 50-50 balls tonight, and you can’t win games if those sorts of things are happening. We’ll reload and learn, and be ready to go again tomorrow.”

After Cascades senior Taylor Claggett opened the game with a pair of free throws, the Wesmen responded with 11 straight points, highlighted by five from Lena Wenke. The Cascades found some traction in the second quarter, outscoring Winnipeg 17-13 in the frame, but trailed 37-28 at the break.

The Wesmen held the Cascades off the scoreboard for the first five minutes of the third, expanding the lead to 46-28 in the process. UFV found its footing, though, outscoring the Wesmen 26-12 over the next nine minutes, capped by a Claggett and-one layup to cut the deficit to 58-54.

Winnipeg took over that that point, scoring the next 11 points to seal the opening-night win.

Afterward, Tuchscherer noted that his team’s slow start was costly.

“It’s been an ongoing thing throughout the preseason, where we come out at the start of games quite flat,” he said. “It’s already bit us a couple times. It’s an ongoing challenge for us that we’ve got to figure out pretty quick.”

Claggett stuffed the stat sheet for the Cascades, with 19 points, 14 rebounds and five assists. Rookies Maddy Gobeil (11 points) and Jessica Parker (10 points, seven boards) chipped in off the bench.

Faith Hezekiah paced the Wesmen with 23 points and 15 boards, Anna Kernaghan counted a trio of triples among her 20 points, and Wenke scored 16.

Women’s Volleyball (by Jordie Arthur, Cascades communications assistant): Chargers rally for four-set win over Cascades

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team started strong but faded late, falling in four sets to the Camosun Chargers on Friday night at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

In a clash of nationally ranked teams, the CCAA No. 7 Cascades took the first set 25-21 and had their chances in an epic second set, only to watch the No. 4 Chargers claim it 31-29. The visitors from Victoria would ride that momentum, taking the next two 25-20 and 25-17 to close out the match.

The two teams renew hostilities on Saturday afternoon (1 p.m., EFAC) to close out the weekend series.

“I think we had game plan in our mind, but just became a little bit tight,” Cascades head coach Janelle Rozema said, reflecting on how the Chargers were able to pull away and win the third and fourth sets. “We were in the right spots, reading the right things, just not executing the actual skill of digging, the actual skill of passing. Our contacts just have to be better tomorrow.”

The first set began tightly contested, but a four-point serving run from Sedona Arabsky gave UFV an 18-14 lead. The Chargers would get back to within 22-20, but Kristen McBride closed out the set for the hosts with consecutive kills.

A wild second saw the teams going point-for-point throughout. With the score even at 22 apiece, the Chargers would surge ahead 24-22 to earn a chance at set point. However, the Cascades battled back to 24-24 with Lauren Poirier serving. From there, UFV would earn four set points but the Chargers fended each of them off. Camosun would finally earn another set point at 30-29 and would close it out on a Megan Ireland kill.

The third set would continue to be tight, but with the score level at 20, Camosun’s Mika Yamada would get a kill follow up with a four-point service run to lift her team to a 25-20 triumph.

The Chargers came out flying for the fourth, grabbing an 11-3 lead with Gracie May notching a pair of aces. The Cascades would fight back to close it to 14-12, but that was as close as they would get. Camosun’s Katie Wayling went on a serving run that would include two aces, extending their lead to 20-12, and the visitors cruised from there.

“I think it was something we hadn’t experience yet tonight,” Rozema said. “Usually when we have those point-for-point battles, because we’re in such good shape, we eventually come out on the other side of that as we tire the other team down. Today it seemed like the opposite a little bit. Camosun tired us out, and then it seemed like we were playing a bit tired in the fourth set . . . I think we ran out of steam.”

Amanda Matsui posted a team-high 14 kills for the Cascades, and Chelsea Kidd added seven kills of her own. Matsui (18) and McBride (15) both registered double-digit digs.

Yamada (14 kills) and Hannah May (12 kills) paced the Chargers offensively.

Men’s Volleyball: Cascades challenge Chargers, but nation’s No. 2 team prevails in four

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team tested the CCAA No.2-ranked Camosun Chargers on Friday evening, but fell in four sets at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

With key outside hitters from both sides – UFV’s Landon Uy and Camosun’s Vitor Pereira – missing due to injury, it was the Chargers taking advantage, prevailing 25-22, 19-25, 25-22, 25-21. They improve to 5-1 in PACWEST play, while the Cascades fall to 3-4.

The two teams lock horns again on Saturday (3 p.m., EFAC).

“It was an opportunity for us, for sure, to take one on our home court,” Cascades head coach Nathan Bennett said, noting the impact of Pereira’s absence. “These are the moments we’ve been trying to talk about – these opportunities, you have to take them. And this was a big opportunity that we had again tonight that we let slip.

“It’s being in these moments. What we have to start to do is learn how to win – how to put teams away after 20 (points). Right now, that’s a mentality thing. In the level that we’re playing right now, we’re skilled enough to play with these teams. It’s the neck-up stuff that we’re having to work on.”

UFV pushed the Chargers in the opening set, taking a 14-11 lead, but the visitors leveled the score at 15 apiece. They would eventually close it out 25-22 as both teams exchanged attacking and service errors down the stretch.

The Cascades jumped out to a 12-7 advantage in the second set and continued to build it from there. While Camosun made a late push, a Justin Peleshytyk kill closed it out for the hosts, 25-19.

Caleb Kastelein came alive for the Cascades in the third, registering eight kills and an ace to keep UFV close. However, Camosun finished it off 25-22 after a controversial carry call on Kastelein.

Both squads traded blows throughout the fourth, with Kastelein and Shubdeep Wander making a big impact for the Cascades, and Ty Moorman and Eduardo Bida stepping up for the Chargers. Unfortunately for Camosun, with the score even at 20-20, Bida collided with teammate Kristofer LaGuardia chasing down a ball and was forced to leave the match with a hand injury. The Chargers rose above it, though, prevailing 25-21 with Graham Basi serving out the match.

Kastelein and Wander saw huge volume in Uy’s absence, racking up 19 and 18 kills, respectively. Wander added three aces and 10 digs, and setter Graham Walkey had two aces of his own to go with 46 set assists. Peleshytyk chipped in with seven kills and 10 digs.

Bida (15 kills, 14 digs) and Morgan Humphreys (11 kills) led the way for the Chargers.


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