Men’s Volleyball ( Jordie Arthur, Cascades communications assistant): Cascades dethrone No. 3-ranked Royals, prevail in four sets

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team picked up another win over a nationally ranked foe, toppling the Douglas Royals in four sets on Saturday evening in New Westminster.

The Royals – four-set winners over the Cascades on Friday in Abbotsford – came in with a PACWEST-best 9-1 record to go with the No. 3 spot in the CCAA national rankings. But it was the Cascades (5-7) who looked the part on Saturday, prevailing by scores of 25-21, 19-25, 25-12, 25-13.

Afterward, head coach Nathan Bennett was quick to note that the Royals were playing shorthanded, with star outside hitters Reid Marriott and Max Haronga sidelined. Nevertheless, it goes down as a confidence-building result for the Cascades, and their second win over a top-three nationally ranked opponent. On Nov. 2, they knocked off the Camosun Chargers – ranked No. 2 in the CCAA at the time – in four sets.

“Their lineup’s not as optimal, but we had to take advantage of that,” Bennett noted. “I definitely think we executed better (than on Friday), and we stuck to the game plan at a higher rate.

“It gives us a bit of momentum, for sure. At the end of the day, it’s great for the group. I’m really happy for them. They did a great job, and they deserve this feeling.”

In the opening set, UFV took a 7-3 lead early and despite a strong pushback from the Royals to cut the margin to 23-21, the Cascades went on to close it out 25-21.

Douglas established a 17-12 lead in the second, eventually seeing it through to a 25-19 finish.

The third set was all Cascades, as they built a 15-10 lead before cruising to a 25-12 victory.

Graham Walkey helped to carry that Cascades momentum into the fourth as they opened up a 6-0 lead with the setter at the service line. They would extend that lead to 15-4 off of a service run by Andy Barrero. That advantage would prove insurmountable for the Royals, as the Cascades sealed it 25-13.

Caleb Kastelein led the charge for the Cascades, posting 11 kills, while Landon Uy notched 10 of his own. Walkey kept the offence humming efficiently with 27 assists to go with five digs, and libero Matt Kornelson chipped in a team-high eight digs.

Matt Shand had a game-high 18 kills for the Royals, while teammate Ben Shand dropped 10 of his own. 

“I thought our service pressure was definitely better, and we also started blocking the ball better,” Bennett analyzed. “We were more disciplined at the net, and we didn’t give as many free points as we did last night. We made them earn everything they got.”

The Cascades volleyball teams have a bye week before their next action, which sees them face the Capilano Blues on the road Nov. 29.

Women’s Volleyball: Cascades rally past Royals in five sets

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team engineered an impressive rally to edge the Douglas Royals in five sets in New Westminster on Saturday evening.

Trailing two sets to one, and down 18-13 in the fourth, the CCAA No. 7-ranked Cascades took over. They battled back to take the fourth 25-23, and capped the comeback with a dominant 15-6 triumph in the fifth to improve to 7-5 in PACWEST play. Douglas fell to 5-6.

“We just started eliminating our unforced errors and making them earn their points,” explained UFV head coach Janelle Rozema, whose team was coming off a five-set home loss to Douglas on Friday. “We’d just been making mistakes all weekend, and volleyball was easy for them. We started putting the ball in the court aggressively.”

The opening set saw the two teams trading points, finding themselves level at 18-18. Douglas pulled away late, though, and took it 25-22.

UFV went up 7-3 early in the second, but a Douglas reeled off nine straight points to turn the tide. Despite this, the Cascades fought back to equalize at 14, and managed to claw their way to a 25-22 set victory.

The teams traded blows throughout the third, but the Royals squeaked out a two-point lead, 17-15. The Cascades fought back to even the score at 21, but it would not be enough as the Royals would take it 25-23.

Douglas built a five-point cushion midway through the fourth, but the Cascades erased the deficit, drawing even at 19-19 and eventually closing it out 25-23 on a Lauren Porier kill.

The Cascades came out flying in the fifth set, building a massive 8-1 advantage on their way to a decisive 15-6 win.

Amanda Matsui led the Cascades with 17 kills, while Ashley Huberts and Sedona Arabsky chipped in 13 and nine kills, respectively. Emma Schill paced the Royals with 13 kills, while Grace Warkentin and Jacey Neid both came up with 11.

Rozema noted that Huberts’s contributions off the bench were critical for the Cascades.

“She was really smart attacking and added some really positive energy and killer instinct,” she said.

The Cascades volleyball teams have a bye week before their next action, which sees them face the Capilano Blues on the road Nov. 29.

Women’s Basketball: Claggett, Cascades roll past Heat to clinch weekend sweep

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team wrapped up an impressive weekend with a second straight win over the UBC Okanagan Heat, prevailing 77-53 on Saturday at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

The Cascades had ridden a strong second half to a 78-49 triumph on Friday, and they controlled Saturday’s rematch from the outset, reeling off a game-opening 11-2 run and cruising from there to square their record at 2-2. UBCO fell to 1-5.

“I thought we did a better job of moving the ball tonight,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer said afterward. “We played with better pace, pushed the ball up the floor, got in behind their defence a little bit early and got some easy buckets. That was good to see. It was closer tonight to how we want to play, especially that first half.”

The Cascades’ starting forwards, Taylor Claggett and Deanna Tuchscherer, got the hosts off to a great start, combining for nine of UFV’s first 11 points. The lead was 22-9 at the end of the first quarter, and the Cascades continued to pull away from there, utilizing their depth to great effect.

UFV continued to expand the lead in the second half, peaking at 34 points (76-42) after Amanda Thompson hit a pair of free throws with five minutes left in the fourth quarter.

The Heat – shorthanded with five players sidelined due to injury – had a strong finish to the game, closing things out on an 11-1 run behind some full-court pressure.

Claggett had a huge night for the Cascades, racking up 24 points including 8-for-8 from the foul line. Deanna Tuchscherer scored 13 points, and Veronica Kobes and Maddy Gobeil both scored in double digits with 10 points apiece. The UFV squad turned in a solid defensive performance, forcing 31 turnovers.

Kasey Patchell, with 14 points, paced the Heat.

The Cascades are at home next weekend for a Friday-Saturday set with the Lethbridge Pronghorns.

Men’s Basketball: Cascades’ scorching start sparks big win over Heat

A red-hot start powered the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team to a dominant 87-60 victory over the UBC Okanagan Heat on Saturday, sealing a weekend sweep at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre.

The Cascades’ winning recipe couldn’t have been any more different than the one they used Friday to top the Heat 89-76 in the opener of the two-game set. UFV trailed by 10 points midway through the third quarter in that one, using a long-distance barrage (shooting 58 per cent from three-point range) to mount a comeback.

Saturday’s rematch saw the Cascades (2-2) hit just 21.7 per cent from beyond the arc, but they were able to limit the Heat (1-5) to 25.9 per cent from the field while making 45.6 per cent themselves. And rather than waiting to do the heavy lifting late, the hosts raced out to a 28-8 lead and cruising from there, expanding the margin as high as 37 points in the fourth quarter.

“Our energy was better,” UFV head coach Adam Friesen said, reflecting on his team’s torrid start.

“The things that contribute to success for any basketball teams are pretty close to being the same. We’ve got to take good shots, rebound the basketball, and take care of it. Today we valued those things for longer stretches than we did yesterday, for sure.”

Parm Bains, coming off a 31-point outburst on Friday, picked up where he left off, scoring eight points in the first quarter to help the Cascades to a 24-8 advantage. Buckets by Dhivaan Bhogal and Vick Toor to open the second stretched the lead to 20 points, and a Matt Cooley dunk with just over two minutes in the half pushed it to 27.

It was more of the same in the third quarter, and UFV’s starters spent the entire fourth quarter on the bench.

Parm Bains posted a tidy 18 points and four assists in just 23 minutes, and the Cascades were an astronomical +29 when he was in the game. Vick Toor came off the bench to score 15 points, and Cooley (11), Sukhjot Bains (nine) and Jaskarn Bajwa (eight) also chipped in offensively. Sukhjot Bains and Jordyn Sekhon tied for team-high honours with nine boards apiece.

UBCO’s Hafith Moallin poured in a game-high 20 points to go with 13 rebounds, and Owen Keyes had 12 points.

“When Parm and Sukhjot are being aggressive and attacking the paint, it really changes our offensive outlook,” Friesen noted. “It gets more people involved, the ball gets moving. When we settle for too many threes, that’s when we sometimes have some poor play.”

The Cascades continue their homestand next weekend with a Friday-Saturday set vs. the Lethbridge Pronghorns.

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