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UFV Sports Saturday – Both Hoops Teams Blow Up Wolf Pack, Volleyball

Fraser Valley (Dan Kinvig – with files from UBC Athletics) – Women’s Basketball: Jacobse lights the fuse as Cascades blow out WolfPack

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team scored a near wire-to-wire win on Saturday afternoon, blitzing the Thompson Rivers WolfPack 72-31 at the UFV Athletic Centre.

The Cascades, coming off a 73-54 win over the WolfPack on Friday where they’d erased a halftime deficit, wasted little time removing any suspense from the rematch. They raced out to a 20-point lead in the second quarter, and cruised from there.

UFV leads the West Division with a sparkling 5-1 record, while the WolfPack fall to 0-6.

“Today, the focal point of our game plan was staying focused, staying on task for 40 minutes,” Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer said. “I thought we did a pretty good job of that. We came out with pretty good energy at the defensive end of the floor, and we were able to maintain that for a lot of the game.

“And it was nice for us to have the most flow we’ve had (offensively) for a sustained stretch, in the first and second quarter there, this season. That was good to see as well. We took better shots tonight, and we shared the ball.”

Victoria Jacobse, coming off a career high-tying 12-point effort on Friday, picked up where she left off, racking up eight points in the first quarter – highlighted by a pair of treys – as the Cascades led 17-11.

UFV dominated the second quarter, shooting 10-for-16 from the field thanks to some outstanding ball movement. They outscored the WolfPack 24-5 in the frame to grab a 41-16 lead at halftime. Deanna Tuchscherer scored 10 points in the quarter, and Nikki Cabuco ended the half with a sparkling +26 plus/minus mark. TRU, conversely, was shooting 12.0 per cent from the field at the break.

The Cascades eased their way home from there, outscoring the WolfPack 14-2 in the fourth quarter to provide the final margin.

Jacobse ended up establishing a new career-high for points with 15, to go with a team-best eight rebounds and six assists. The senior guard has long been an impact player for the Cascades, but she’s proving she can make a larger contribution in terms of scoring and playmaking.

“Last weekend at UBC, Vic was visibly frustrated,” Al Tuchscherer noted. “It was because she was not happy with herself, not about displeasure with the team at all. We’d asked her to elevate her offensive contributions a little bit, and it really didn’t happen for her (vs. the Thunderbirds). But this week, she’s been very aggressive in practice.

“You’re seeing the full arsenal from her – everything that she can do. She shot the ball well this weekend, she can attack, she’s a creative attacker, she’s long and she can defend, and she’s playing with some urgency. There’s a lot of really good things happening in her game right now.”

Deanna Tuchscherer scored a game-high 24 points for the Cascades, and Cabuco scored 14.

Abbotsford product Kyla Smith scored 11 points off the bench to pace the T-Wolves.

The Cascades basketball teams are now on a bye week, before returning to action with a road weekend vs. the UBC Okanagan Heat (Nov. 26-27).

Men’s Basketball: Cascades battle back to beat WolfPack, earn weekend split

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team flipped the script on the Thompson Rivers WolfPack on Saturday, erasing a double-digit deficit to claim an 81-75 victory and secure a split of the weekend set.

The Cascades had been on the receiving end of a big comeback on Friday, as TRU dug their way out of a 10-point hole late in the third quarter to steal a 69-63 win at the UFV Athletic Centre.

The hosts returned the favour in the rematch – trailing by 15 with just over two minutes left in the third quarter, UFV reeled off a 15-1 run bridging the third and fourth quarters to get back into it, with Aidan Wilson providing a huge spark off the bench.

Veteran point guard Vick Toor took over down the stretch and Kyle Claggett hit a series of key shots as the Cascades outscored the WolfPack 31-16 in the final frame, ensuring that both teams would leave the gym with matching 3-3 records.

“Good overall team win,” noted UFV bench boss Joe Enevoldson, whose balanced attack saw seven players score between seven and 15 points. “We tinkered around with our rotation tonight, and I think that kept us a little fresher down the stretch – we had better decision-making.”

After a closely contested first half that ended with TRU taking a 37-35 lead to the locker room, the WolfPack came out in the third quarter and put some separation between themselves and the Cascades. A 14-5 surge highlighted by six Brendan Sullivan points put the visitors up 51-40, and they would extend their cushion to 58-43 in the late stages of the frame.

The Cascades finally found some defensive traction after switching to a 2-3 zone, with the 6’10” Wilson wreaking havoc with his long limbs in the middle. The sophomore centre also contributed offensively, throwing down a dunk off a Suraj Gahir feed and sinking a triple to open the fourth quarter.

“Aiden shoots them, and when he shoots them with confidence, he hits them,” Enevoldson said with a chuckle, alluding to Wilson’s surprising snipe from downtown. “He’s just growing by leaps and bounds every time we step on the floor and play. That’s really what we need from him. I’m really proud of him and his growth over the last three years, not just as a basketball player but as a human being.”

Toor dominated the balance of the final frame, scoring 10 of his 14 points on the night, with Claggett, Gahir and Jordyn Sekhon hitting timely shots to fuel the Cascades’ momentum.

Claggett scored seven straight points inside of four minutes remaining to turn a four-point deficit into a 72-72 tie, and Toor followed that by blocking Asher Mayan’s three-point attempt, sprinting down the floor to haul in a pass from Gahir, and finishing a spectacular layup through contact, earning a trip to the free throw line to put UFV up 75-72.

A Jake Willemsen steal on the next TRU possession led to a Gahir step-back jumper, and the Cascades hit free throws from there to close out the game.

The Cascades continued with the zone defence throughout the fourth quarter – a measure Enevoldson said was to contain Sullivan, who racked up a game-high 32 points.

“Sometimes you’ve just got to take a chance and see what happens, and we did a good job of it,” Enevoldson said of the zone. “We talked at the quarter time, and we decided to stick with it until they hit back-to-back threes, which never happened. So we ended up just going with it.”

Claggett’s 15 points led the Cascades, while Toor (14 points, eight assists), Zubair Seyed (11 points) and Willemsen (10 points) also scored in double figures.

Mayan, with 14 points and 10 boards, was the lone double-digit scorer for the WolfPack beyond Sullivan, who carried his squad offensively.

“I think it was five minutes to go, and Vick yells out, ‘We’re not going to lose this game,’” Enevoldson said. “He turned the ball over a little bit too much tonight, but he’s going to take some chances and we need him to cook. He did that tonight, especially down the stretch.”

The Cascades basketball teams are now on a bye week, returning to action with a road weekend vs. the UBC Okanagan Heat (Nov. 26-27).

Women’s Volleyball: T-Birds bounce back, top Cascades to salvage weekend split

Coming off a historic victory on Friday, the University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team came up short in their attempt at a weekend sweep, suffering a three-set road loss to the UBC Thunderbirds on Saturday evening.

The Cascades (1-3) had stunned the T-Birds (1-1) in four sets in their home opener, but the hosts turned in a tidier performance in the rematch, winning by scores of 25-18, 25-14 and 25-22 at War Memorial Gym.

“They made a lot fewer errors today, forcing us to have to earn our points, and we lost our game plan a little bit with that pressure,” Cascades head coach Janelle Rozema analyzed afterward. “Our athletes talked a little bit afterward about how, now that they we know we can win at this level, there’s a little more pressure, and they didn’t think they did a good job handling that tonight. They now have experience handling that, and with experience you get better. I’m hoping that now when we feel that pressure, we’ll find a way to perform.”

In the first set, the Cascades battled UBC to an early stalemate at 12-12, but the hosts caught fire at that point, scoring six straight points highlighted by a pair of Cara Kovacs blocks, and they kept UFV at bay from there.

The second set played out in similar fashion – UFV was level at 7-7, but the Thunderbirds steadily pulled away, ultimately opening a 20-10 advantage which proved insurmountable for the visitors.

There was little separating the two teams in a tight third set, and UFV’s Sadie Wilson served up an ace for a two-point edge that gave the Cascades a 16-14 lead at the technical timeout. The T-Birds fought back and took the lead with a Kovacs kill at 18-17, and they were clinical inside of 20 points, with a Trinity Solecki ace, another Kovacs kill, and a Claire Cossarini kill to end it.

“UBC made fewer errors, but we didn’t serve as tough and didn’t pass as well as last night,” Rozema said. “That’s the basics of volleyball right there. Serve and pass, it’s like peanut butter and jelly. We weren’t as good in those areas tonight.”

Grace Warkentin tallied eight kills for UFV, Wilson had six kills with eight digs, and Kristen McBride had five kills. Setter Cailin Bitter had 17 assists.

Kovacs had a team-high 13 kills for the T-Birds to go along with two aces and seven digs, and Courtney Hillier put up 12 kills and seven digs.

The Cascades now head into a bye week before returning to action with their long-awaited Canada West home openers, Nov. 26-27 vs. Thompson Rivers.

“I think it’s a great time for us to take a breath and get healthy, and take a mental break too,” Rozema said. “The mental toll it took on our athletes last night to play that clean of a strategic match was exhausting for them, and we just couldn’t execute game plan today – we were just tired. We’ll work on our physical shape and adding things to our game, but also giving our minds a break and getting healthy.”

Men’s Volleyball: T-Birds wrap up weekend sweep of Cascades

Missing their most prolific offensive threat due to injury, the University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team showed some resilience in a tough road match-up, but the UBC Thunderbirds’ tough serving was ultimately overwhelming.

The T-Birds, ranked No. 8 in the nation, earned a three-set triumph for the second straight night at War Memorial Gym, prevailing by scores of 25-17, 25-21 and 25-13 on Saturday evening.

“With Nimo being out today, I thought the guys did a pretty good job of finding solutions when we didn’t have our get-out-of-jail-free card,” Cascades head coach Nathan Bennett said, alluding to sophomore left side Nimo Benne, the team’s top scorer, who was sidelined Saturday.

“We started to think a little bit more. A lot of growing happened today, but at the end of the day, we still have a lot of growing to do.”

Indeed, while the Cascades showed spirit on Saturday, particularly in the second set, Matt Neaves and the T-Birds were just too much from the service line. Neaves cranked a career-high nine aces, breaking a Thunderbirds record and tying for second all-time in a single match in Canada West history.

“Their service pressure is phenomenal, and it’s something we have to learn how to receive,” Bennett noted. “That’s really it. Our serve-pass game needs to improve, and at the end of the day, just understanding tactics and how to change things throughout the match.”

The hosts were clicking from the service line and on the attack in the first set – they hit .600 as a team, and took it 25-17.

The Cascades’ brightest moments came in the second set. Trailing 15-9, they rallied to level matters at 15-15, with Eduardo Ferreira serving for five straight points capped by an ace. But a net violation and a service error helped UBC regain a 20-17 advantage, and they were able to finish it off.

Neaves dominated the third set, blasting five aces to give his team a 14-3 edge, and they cruised from there.

Caleb Kastelein led the Cascades (0-4) with nine kills, Jonas Van Huizen had three kills and 10 assists with two aces and three digs, and Ryan Adams had four kills.

Neaves added nine kills, five digs, and three block assists for UBC (2-0), while Michael Dowhaniuk racked up a team-high 10 kills with two aces and two digs.

The Cascades now head into a bye week before returning to action with their long-awaited Canada West home openers, Nov. 26-27 vs. Thompson Rivers.

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