Fraser Valley (Dan Kinvig) – The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball program has added veteran seasoning and skill to its roster as it builds toward the 2022-23 Canada West campaign.
Head coach Nathan Bennett has landed four transfer athletes in Ryan Hampe (Prince George, B.C., Thompson Rivers / Calgary), Mason Hoffman (Regina, Sask., College of the Rockies), Kyle Cook (Surrey, B.C., Capilano) and Joey Kruger (Abbotsford, B.C., Columbia Bible College).
“Each of these athletes make our team more competitive on a day-to-day basis,” Bennett said. “The compete level that each of them possess was of high priority for me to add into the culture of our group. All four are excellent human beings and quality students, and will fit into our team environment seamlessly.”
6’5” right side, Prince George, B.C.
Prince George Youth Volleyball Club / University of Calgary
Duchess Park Secondary
Hampe will embark on his third season of eligibility after previous stops at Thompson Rivers University (2018-20) and the University of Calgary (2020-21). The athletic right side was a standout player at the club and high school levels growing up in Prince George. Playing for the Prince George Youth Volleyball Club, he was a two-time provincial all-star and won a B.C. title in 2019. On the high school scene, he was a provincial AA all-star in back-to-back years (2017 and 2018) with the Duchess Park Condors. Hampe also suited up for Team B.C., winning bronze at the Canada Summer Games in 2017.
“Ryan Hampe brings a high level of physicality that will allow him to compete for playing time right away,” said Bennett, who coached Hampe in the B.C. provincial program. “After being involved with him at a younger age, I have enjoyed seeing his growth over the last few years, and I’m excited to have him in our group.”
“I chose to be a member of the Cascades men’s volleyball program because of Nathan Bennett,” explained Hampe, who will pursue a Bachelor of Integrated Studies degree at UFV. “Having been previously coached by him, I know his coaching style and we have a great relationship, so that was a huge draw for me. As well, being a part of a new U SPORTS program and having the ability to lay the groundwork for the teams to follow was intriguing.
“As a member of the Cascades, I want to establish that, although new to Canada West, this is a program that will be a perennial playoff team, and contending for championships.”
6’4” setter, Regina, Sask.
Regina Volleyball Club / College of the Rockies
Dr. Martin LeBoldus High
Hoffman comes to UFV from the College of the Rockies, where he was a teammate of current Cascade Reece Wilson. Hoffman played his prep volleyball at LeBoldus High School and Regina Volleyball Club, earning team MVP honours at LeBoldus, and he suited up for Team Saskatchewan in interprovincial play. This past season at COTR, Hoffman was among the PACWEST’s leaders in service aces (0.34/set, sixth) and blocks (0.45/set, 11th).
“Mason is going to bring a high volleyball IQ and an extremely high compete level, coming from College of the Rockies,” Bennett noted. “He will come into our environment and give us some stability and depth at the setting position. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do at the next level.”
“UFV fits perfectly into my academic goals, as well as my aspirations of playing for a competitive Canada West team,” said Hoffman, who will enrol in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program. “Over my time with the Cascades, my goal is to make the best athlete and leader of myself to help the team succeed. I want to be a contributing member in the team’s development as a new member of a highly competitive Canada West league, and fight for a title.”
6’7” middle, Surrey, B.C.
Seaside Volleyball Club / Capilano University
Clayton Heights Secondary
Cook brings a winning pedigree to UFV. During his prep career, he won a national title with Team B.C. at the U18 level in 2019, and he won a trio of medals at the provincial club championships (silver at U16 and U18, bronze at U17) with Seaside Volleyball. At Capilano University, Cook was part of the Blues’ 2020 CCAA national championship.
“Kyle fills an area of need for us in the middle position, and the improvement he has made while at Capilano will allow him to compete at the highest level,” said Bennett. “The competition level for playing time in the middle is going to be fierce, and I’m looking forward to Kyle being a part of that.”
“UFV is close to home, and has a wide selection of classes,” noted Cook, who will work towards in Bachelor of Arts degree. “My dream for my time with the Cascades is to win a championship, pure and simple. Individual accolades are nice, but winning a championship is the ultimate goal. I’ll do whatever it takes to make the team better, whether that’s playing every game or sitting on the bench. I’ll do whatever it takes.”
6’2” outside hitter, Abbotsford, B.C.
Orangemen Volleyball Club / Columbia Bible College
W.J. Mouat Secondary
A hometown product out of Abbotsford’s W.J. Mouat Secondary, Kruger joins the Cascades from Columbia Bible College. The Orangemen Volleyball Club product is coming off a strong season at CBC, ranking 15th in the PACWEST in kills per set (1.98).
“Joey is a local product who gained valuable experience while he was at CBC,” Bennett said. “He is a great athlete with excellent technical abilities. We’re looking forward to having him as part of our group and continuing his journey here at UFV.”
“I chose UFV to continue my volleyball career at a high level, and it’s also close to home,” said Kruger, who will join Cook in the Bachelor of Arts program. “I’m stoked to keep getting better everyday and pushing to compete hard with a great group of guys.”