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UFV Sports Saturday – Men’s Soccer Playoffs End Early, Tuchscherer, Cabuco Lead Cascades Hoops Past UFB in 2OT

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Fraser Valley/Vancouver (Dan Kinvig) – Women’s Basketball: Tuchscherer, Cabuco lead Cascades past T-Birds in 2OT

With star point guard Maddy Gobeil sidelined due to injury, the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team put together a gritty, clutch performance on the road to earn a 71-64 double-overtime win over the UBC Thunderbirds on Saturday.

Coming off a heartbreaking 60-59 loss in Vancouver on Friday, and having learned in the morning that sophomore standout Gobeil – the Cascades’ leading scorer through three games this season – would be unavailable for the rematch, the UFV squad dug deep, showcasing its high-end talent and depth in a marathon victory.

Deanna Tuchscherer was dominant down the stretch for the Cascades, finishing with a game-high 30 points and 10 rebounds, and Nikki Cabuco racked up a season-high 22 points highlighted by 5-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc.

The UFV squad also got a revelatory performance from rookie guard Google Sidhu, who stepped up and soaked up many of Gobeil’s minutes. She’d seen action in just one of the Cascades’ first three games, totalling just five minutes of court time, but played 42 minutes on Saturday, supplying tough defence and chipping in with five points, six rebounds, three steals and two assists.

The Cascades, who emerge from a wild weekend leading the West Division at 3-1, return to their home court next week to face the Thompson Rivers WolfPack in a Friday-Saturday series.

Hailey Counsell scored a team-best 22 points, and Emily Martindale (13) and Kate Johnson (12) also scored in double figures for the T-Birds, who fell to 1-3 on the season.

“I’m proud of how they handled the adversity, and the real tough loss the night before,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer said, reflecting on the resilience his squad showed over the weekend in Vancouver.

“Obviously losing Maddy, she’s a big part of our team, and I wasn’t sure how things were going to go, but I thought they really answered the bell. They started the game strong, and then it just turned into a battle of wills, a gritty sort of mess. And I thought Deanna brought it home.”

Cabuco sparked the Cascades in the first half, draining four triples in the early going as the visitors led 16-14 after one quarter and expanded the margin to 34-23 at the break.

The T-Birds quieted the UFV offence in the third quarter, out-scoring the Cascades 13-6 in the frame, but Deanna Tuchscherer took over down the stretch. With UBC cutting the deficit to 45-44 with three minutes left in regulation, the sophomore forward hit a three-pointer and went 3-of-4 from the foul line to give UFV a 51-46 cushion.

UBC battled back, though – Martindale hit a driving layup and Counsell drained a triple to knot the score 51-51 and set the stage for OT.

Tuchscherer continued to cruise in the first extra session, pouring in eight of the Cascades’ nine points in the frame. UFV was again in control, up 59-53, only to watch UBC rally to tie it 60-60 on a pair of Counsell free throws to force a second overtime.

The Cascades finally dispensed of the pesky T-Birds in the second OT. Tuchscherer scored six points, Sidhu contributed a huge three-pointer, and UBC was out of comebacks.

It was a true superstar performance down the stretch for Deanna Tuchscherer – over the last 13 minutes of the game (three minutes of regulation plus two five-minute OT periods), she poured in 20 points to carry the Cascades to victory.

“I was really proud of Deanna tonight,” Al Tuchscherer said. “By her standards, she’s been struggling a little bit for the better part of the season. She just doesn’t have a lot of flow in her game, but I thought she just really put us on her back late in the game and in the overtimes. It was great to see her demanding the ball, wanting the ball in those key situations.

“We kind of ran Nikki dry – she had nothing left towards the end of the game, so we moved Deanna over (to the point) and she helped us out a lot as well.

“And Google was instrumental, for sure. For her to come in and play the minutes she played tonight and be as effective as she was, it was a pretty special performance. It says a lot about her readiness. She’s a competitor.”

Alexis Worrell stuffed the stat sheet for UFV, posting six points, eight rebounds and five assists, and Julia Tuchscherer had eight points and seven boards.

UFV lost the rebounding battle by 10 (57-47), but were much more efficient on offence, shooting 36.4 per cent from the field as a team while limiting the T-Birds to just 26.9 per cent.\

Men’s Basketball: Fourth-quarter comeback lifts T-Birds past Cascades

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team put a scare into the UBC Thunderbirds on their home court, but the hosts were able to erase a double-digit deficit and rally for an 80-72 win on Saturday evening in Vancouver.

In a game of wild momentum swings, the Cascades found themselves trailing by nine at halftime, but dominated the third quarter to grab a 62-52 lead heading to the final frame.

The T-Birds, though, were able to knock the Cascades off-kilter by switching to a zone defence, sparking a frantic comeback that netted UBC (4-0) its fourth straight victory to open the season while dropping UFV to 2-2.

The Cascades are back in action next week at home, welcoming the Thompson Rivers WolfPack to the UFV Athletic Centre for a Friday-Saturday set.

“I think when they went to the 2-3 zone, it took us out of offensive flow for sure,” Cascades head coach Joe Enevoldson said afterward. “But it also took us out of defensive flow – we became passive at both ends of the floor. I think their guys got to their strong hand off ball screens way too easily, and we’d done a good job of preventing that over the first three quarters.

“It’s a scenario where we did get better, and while the result wasn’t there tonight, that’s what we’re pushing for towards February/March.”

The Cascades opened a 14-9 lead on Saturday, but the T-Birds were able to draw even at 16-16 at the end of the first quarter, and a nine-point outburst from James Woods in the second powered the hosts to a 43-34 halftime advantage.

The third quarter, though, was all UFV – they outscored UBC 28-9 in the frame, paced by centre Kyle Claggett who got six of his eight points in the quarter at the free throw line. The T-Birds, meanwhile, shot 4-for-18 in the frame.

UBC turned the tables in the fourth, thanks largely to their zone defence. UFV’s lead was 66-54 after a Jordyn Sekhon jumper, but the T-Birds authored a 24-3 surge led by Grant Audu, who scored 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting down the stretch.

“Process vs. outcome,” Enevoldson said afterward. “If we’re focusing on the right now, we’re not going feel very good about ourselves, but we’ve got to focus on the future.

“We said it in the team room after – we don’t want to peak on Nov. 6. We want to put together a full 40 minutes on Feb. 28, 29.”

And indeed, there were a lot of positives for the Cascades to take away. Rookie wing Suraj Gahir had the best game of his young career, counting a trio of triples among his team-best 17 points. Claggett scored 16 and added five assists, Sekhon had 11 points, and Vick Toor posted 10 points and seven assists. Toor currently ranks second in Canada West in assists, averaging 6.5 per game.

Woods scored 22 to lead four double-digit scorers for UBC, alongside Audu (17), Sukhman Sandhu (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Triston Matthews (12).

Men’s Soccer: Cascades fall to Vikes in Canada West semis

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s soccer team saw its championship dreams snuffed on Saturday morning in Calgary, as they dropped a 5-0 decision to the Victoria Vikes in the Canada West semifinals.

Playing at the CW Final Four hosted by Mount Royal University, the Vikes got early goals from Jose Sagaste and Ian Whibley, then poured on the offence with three more goals after UFV’s Jun Won Choi was sent off.

The Cascades were denied a pair of program firsts they had been seeking – a trip to the CW final, and a berth to the U SPORTS national championship tournament.

They will face the loser of Saturday’s late semifinal between Mount Royal and UBC in Sunday’s bronze medal match (10 a.m. Pacific time / 11 a.m. Mountain, presented by Co-op), while the Vikes face the winner for gold.

Victoria opened the scoring in the ninth minute, as Sagaste rose to head the ball home off Mark Kaiser’s free kick. Then in the 19th, off a counterattack, the Vikes made it 2-0 as Isaac Koch’s cross found Whibley at the far post for the close-range header.

The Cascades began to find their footing at that point, generating some looks at goal off set pieces of their own, but their comeback effort hit the wall in the 27th minute as Choi was assessed a straight red card, leaving UFV a man down for the balance of the game.

“We didn’t help ourselves, conceding a poor goal off a set piece, and then the red card’s completely changed the game,” Cascades head coach Tom Lowndes said afterward.

“It’s a mammoth if not impossible task playing a good team like Vic with 10 men for 65 minutes. I’m proud of my players – they stuck together, they didn’t quit, they didn’t throw the towel in. I’m proud of them for that.”

With the Cascades down to 10 men, the Vikes took advantage. In the 35th, UFV keeper Jackson Cowx came charging out to stop Koch on the breakaway, but Trey Ference tracked down the rebound and lobbed a high-arcing shot from distance that settled into the net.

In first-half injury time, Parman Minhas turned at the top of the box and took a crack at goal, but Vikes keeper Harjot Nijjar leaped to tip away his rising shot, which was headed towards the top left corner.

Koch and Sergio Duran rounded out the scoring in the second half, and Nijjar sealed the shutout by leaping to save Minhas’s header off a corner.

“Physically, we’re beaten up . . . but we’ve got to regroup,” Lowndes said, looking ahead to the bronze medal match. “We’ll have to make some changes, set up a little bit differently. There will be some younger guys that will get some minutes.

“This one hurts, it stings. We’ve got to let it sting today and use that as fuel for the fire tomorrow.”

Women’s Volleyball: Heat hold off Cascades in four sets

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team showed day-to-day growth over their first weekend of Canada West competition, but it wasn’t enough to secure a victory as the UBC Okanagan Heat fended them off in four sets on Saturday afternoon.

The Cascades, coming off a three-set loss on Friday and missing star left side Amanda Matsui due to injury, turned in a solid performance in the rematch and claimed their first set win in CW conference play. But it was the Heat ultimately turning them aside by set scores of 25-19, 25-22, 20-25, 25-22.

The UFV squad (0-2) is back in action on the road next weekend, facing the UBC Thunderbirds in a Friday-Saturday set.

“There were a couple times we made mistakes at the wrong time of the game, but we also had some moments where we did the things well at crucial moments,” Cascades head coach Janelle Rozema noted afterward.

“We’re trying not to be cheesy, but we’re following the We Climb, We Conquer mantra. We’ve climbed, but we haven’t conquered. We definitely celebrated winning our first set tonight, but we’re disappointed not to have gotten our first win.

“Definitely controlling things on our side of the net and scoring points at key moments of the game is something we’re still working on.”

The Cascades were in the first set until the very end, when the Heat put together three points in a row to go from 21-18 to 24-18, and they would wrap it up 25-19.

UFV excelled early in the second, building a 7-3 advantage, but the hosts found traction at that point and rallied to take the lead at the midway point of the set, and they kept the Cascades at bay from there.

In similar fashion, UFV controlled the early portion of the third set, going up 7-2 with middle Mo Likness picking up a pair of emphatic kills during that stretch. But this time, they maintained control, winning comfortably thanks to effective blocking and some big swings from right side Sadie Wilson.

“We really cut back on our unforced errors, and we played a really nice balance of physical when we needed to be physical, and patient when we need to be patient (on the attack),” Rozema said, reflecting on that third set. “We were willing to play longer rallies, and at times it resulted in us scoring points, and at others it resulted in the other team making an error. It really paid off for us.”

The UFV squad continued to push in the fourth, but the Heat were able to claw out a 25-22 win to close the match.

Statistics were not available immediately post-game; check for updates as they are available.

Afterward, Rozema noted the impact, in Amanda Matsui’s absence, of fourth-year veteran Wilson’s leadership on Saturday.

“I’d say all three outside hitters (played well), but Sadie particularly,” Rozema said. “We talked about when an injury happens, another head has to pop up. It was cool to see Sadie pop up on the right side and score some points. Making UBCO think about something different was helpful, for sure.”

Men’s Volleyball: Heat top Cascades in three sets

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team emerged from opening weekend on the wrong end of a sweep, as the UBC Okanagan Heat topped them in three sets on Saturday evening in Kelowna.

The Cascades had shown flashes of their collective potential in Friday’s Canada West conference debut, pushing the Heat to five sets, but were unable to muster the same type of moxie in the rematch. Set scores were 25-16, 25-19 and 25-20.

The UFV squad (0-2) is back in action on the road next weekend, facing the UBC Thunderbirds in a Friday-Saturday set.

“We have to learn how to manage frustration, and we have to learn how to manage this league,” Cascades head coach Nathan Bennett said in the aftermath of Saturday’s result. “And we have to learn how to leave points behind. When a point against us happens, we have to focus on the next one.

“It’s a lot of learning – this whole term, that’s what we’re working on. We’re trying to get better every day, and maybe we took a step back today, but that’s OK. Next week we’ll go back to the drawing board and get better. Hopefully for UBC’s home opener in Vancouver, we’re back ready to perform.”

After the Heat controlled the first set, the Cascades made a strong push in the second, battling back from a modest deficit to tie it up 16-16 after a Caleb Kastelein kill. The Heat, though, reeled off four straight points – including a kill and a block from right side Noah Carlson – to regain control, and they cruised from there.

In the third set, the Cascades built a 9-5 lead, with Nimo Benne serving for four straight points and Eduardo Ferreira notching back-to-back kills. But a series of UFV errors allowed the Heat to surge to a 12-11 edge, and they pulled away as their offence began to click down the stretch.

Benne’s eight kills and seven digs paced the Cascades, Ferreira finished with seven kills, and Ryan Adams had six. Setter Jonas Van Huizen registered 20 assists.

Carlson had a huge night for the Heat, racking up 16 kills and hitting .481. UBCO racked up 28 blocks on the night to the Cascades’ 12.

“Our team needs to learn who we are, needs to learn how to be a team,” Bennett analyzed. “Going through these wars and these disappointments, going through all this stuff, will help us be a team down the road.”

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