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UFV Sports Saturday – End Weekend on High Note for Basketball, Volleyball (VIDEO)

Fraser Valley (Dan Kinvig with files from Cameron Doherty, TRU Athletics) – Women’s Volleyball: Cascades wrap up weekend sweep of WolfPack

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team completed the first weekend sweep of its Canada West tenure, breaking out the brooms with a three-set win over the Thompson Rivers WolfPack in Kamloops on Saturday.

The Cascades led nearly every set wire-to-wire, prevailing by scores of 25-17, 25-18, 25-17 and out-hitting the WolfPack by a margin of .303 to .062.

UFV had required five sets to dispense of host TRU in Friday’s opener, and in the aftermath, head coach Janelle Rozema noted that her squad could have been tidier in many areas.

There was no such equivocating on Saturday, as a physical UFV team took advantage of a young WolfPack squad missing some key players due to COVID-19 protocols to rack up 10 blocks to TRU’s 1.

“I had the exact opposite emotions, last night to today,” Rozema said with a chuckle afterward. “I honestly couldn’t ask for more. It was a really clean volleyball game. No opponent, in the game of volleyball, are you going to keep at zero with the nature of rally point. But I felt we played a really solid volleyball match. There’s not a skill I can pick on today that I felt was super suspect.”

The Cascades scored the first four points of the night, but the WolfPack kept pace from there until the technical timeout at 16-12. UFV exploded down the stretch, though, and an ace from Cailin Bitter finished off a set that saw Amanda Matsui record eight kills for the 25-17 victory.

The second set followed much the same script. A 16-12 UFV advantage at the technical was blown wide open with an 8-4 Cascades run to make it 24-16. TRU’s Kate Lamothe had three kills in the set, but it was a case of too little too late as UFV took the second frame 25-18.

Thompson Rivers grabbed their first lead of the night early in the third set but the Cascades immediately responded with a 7-0 run keyed by a pair of aces from Mo Likness to take a 7-2 edge. The ’Pack fought hard down the stretch and cut the lead to four at 14-10, but Fraser Valley proved to be too much on the night and ran away with the third 25-17.

Matsui paced the Cascades once again, racking up 21 kills on 31 attacks to finish the night with a hitting percentage of .581. Bitter did an excellent job distributing the ball, recording 31 assists, and Sadie Wilson and Kristen McBride helped balance out the Cascades’ attack with five kills apiece. Wilson added a team-best 10 digs.

For the second night in a row Brooklyn Olfert led the WolfPack with nine kills. Lamothe had a career-high six kills, and Katie Ludvig had 10 digs for TRU.

“Our serving was really consistent, really tough, and our serve defence game was really strong, too,” Rozema noted. “That was the biggest change today.

“It was also nice to have a diverse offence today. Obviously Amanda scored a lot for us, but she wasn’t the only one contributing on the scoreboard. Kristen and Sadie and Mo were really good.”

Following a bye week, the Cascades volleyball teams host their long-awaited Canada West home openers, Feb. 4-5 vs. TRU.

Women’s Basketball: Cascades stifle Spartans, win 58-39

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team tossed wrench after wrench into the gears of the Trinity Western Spartans’ offence on Saturday, prevailing 58-39 in a smothering defensive performance.

The Spartans struggled to get anything going offensively on this night – through three quarters, they’d managed just four field goals on 10 per cent shooting from the field (4-for-40). While they perked up somewhat in the fourth, getting five shots to drop, it was too little, too late as the Cascades won the rubber match of the season series between the two local rivals.

TWU (10-2) still maintains first place in the West Division by a half-game, but the Cascades (9-2) are tied in the loss column with a game in hand, and now own the head-to-head tiebreaker.

“We challenged our players to re-establish our identity tonight,” said Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer, whose team had been much more permissive defensively in a 68-52 loss to the Spartans on Friday.

“They responded, for sure, at the defensive end of the floor. They were solid in a lot of ways – much more active defensively, their communication was much better, and we rebounded the ball better. A lot of really positive things defensively.

“Our defence needs to be our anchor – it needs to be there every night. It shouldn’t be something we’re talking about anymore. It wasn’t there last night, but it was tonight. Consistency is the aim.”

It was evident from the outset that this game would be a rock fight – the Cascades’ lead, six minutes into the first quarter, was 4-2. Alexis Worrell got UFV’s offence unstuck with a layup, and a Madison Draayers trey and a Natalie Rathler bucket in the paint made it 11-2 after one.

The Cascades continued to lock it down in the second quarter, ending the frame on a 13-3 run to make it 28-12 at the half.

Four straight points from Maddy Gobeil in the third quarter pushed UFV’s lead past the 20-point threshold (35-13), and they maintained that margin deep into the fourth. TWU’s Kailey Reimer scored five straight points to help the Spartans get the deficit down to 13, but the Cascades pulled away again in the dying minutes.

Gobeil scored 17 points to lead all scorers, Draayers (3-for-5 from three) and Julia Tuchscherer posted 11 points apiece, and Deanna Tuchscherer’s 11 rebounds were a game-high.

Abbotsford product Jayden Gill (16 points) was the lone Spartan to score in double figures as TWU finished at 17.0 per cent from the field (9-for-53) and mustered just six points in the paint (3-for-26).

“I can’t say I’m particularly happy with our overall play this weekend – I think we were fortunate to get the split in a lot of ways,” Coach Tuchscherer said. “It’s funny how, from one week to the next, your play can change. Offensively we struggled for the better part of 80 minutes this weekend, and we need to be better. We’ve got a stretch of games here against some solid teams, and then the playoffs, and we’ve got to be better offensively than we have been.”

The Cascades basketball teams are back in action next weekend on the road, facing the UNBC Timberwolves in a Friday-Saturday set.

Men’s Basketball: Cascades weather Spartan comeback, prevail 102-88

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team put together a big-time bounce-back performance, topping the Trinity Western Spartans 102-88 on Saturday evening at the UFV Athletic Centre.

The Cascades had struggled mightily at the defensive end on Friday as they dropped a 97-87 decision to the Spartans, allowing the visitors to shoot 50 per cent from the field. The hosts turned in a more attentive defensive effort in the rematch, holding the Spartans to 38.3 per cent shooting.

Jordyn Sekhon lit the fuse for the Cascades offensively, detonating for 14 points – highlighted by 4-for-4 from beyond the arc – in the second quarter as the Cascades built a 20-point lead at the half.

The Spartans (3-8) rallied in the second half behind Mason Bourcier, who posted a triple-double for the second straight night, and got back to within two points (81-79) midway through the fourth quarter. But the Cascades (5-4) closed things out in clinical fashion in the dying minutes, with Vick Toor and Kyle Claggett tying for team-high scoring honours with 19 points.

“I thought we did a great job defensively, just understanding their personnel a little bit better,” Cascades head coach Joe Enevoldson said afterward. “We made a few subtle adjustments, but nothing extraordinary by any stretch. We just wanted to make sure we got a handle on Q (Ja’Qualyn Gilbreath), and we got a handle on Bourcier getting down the pipe a little bit. Obviously loading up on them, their dribble penetration angles become a lot different. I thought we did a good job of that, especially in the second quarter.

“And then we got out and ran – we re-found our identity. That’s who we are. We’re tough defensively when we decide to be, we can grind you a little bit, and then we can get out and run. We’ve got multiple guys who can finish in transition, and that’s what we did tonight.”

The Cascades had a brighter start on Saturday – Toor got rolling early, scoring six quick points, and Aidan Wilson came off the bench to score seven in the first quarter as UFV led by as many as nine.

The second quarter was all about Sekhon. The fourth-year swingman was white-hot from beyond the arc, draining a quartet of triples and adding a high-flying reverse layup to close the quarter. UFV’s lead at the half was 58-38.

“From a confidence perspective, that was as pivotal a moment for him as he’s had all year,” Enevoldson said of Sekhon. “He’s capable of scoring in quick bursts, and when he gets going, he’s a lot of fun to watch and he’s a lot of fun to coach.

“He always gives it his all on the defensive end of the floor, and we give him very tough assignments because he can do it. Sometimes that does involve a bit of sacrifice on the offensive end, but he got going tonight and he really lifted us.”

The Cascades extended the lead as high as 24 early in the third quarter, but the Spartans found some traction, scoring eight straight points to cut the deficit to 71-59.

TWU guard Tre Fillmore caught fire in the fourth, draining four treys of his own in quick succession. The last of those – with 4:58 left in regulation – cut the Cascades’ cushion to two points (81-79).

But UFV responded with a lightning-quick 8-0 run of their own – Jake Willemsen and Dylan Kinley hit back-to-back threes, and Dario Lopez converted a putback to make it 89-79 with three minutes left, and the Cascades kept the Spartans at bay from there.

Sekhon finished with a double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds), Willemsen and Kinley contributed 11 points each, and Toor stuffed the stat sheet with eight rebounds, six assists and a block to go with his 19 points.

Gilbreath scored a game-high 25, and Bourcier’s triple-double featured 16 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists.

“I’d still like to figure out how we can build on huge leads vs. letting teams get back into the flow,” Enevoldson said. “But it was a great team effort to get us through the storm, especially against a team as offensively gifted as they are.”

The Cascades basketball teams are back in action next weekend on the road, facing the UNBC Timberwolves in a Friday-Saturday set.

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