Weekend preview: Volleyballers at home vs. Capilano, hoopsters hit the road for big games vs. TRU

Slider Nov25-15The final weekend of UFV Cascades varsity action in the 2015 calendar year is chock-full of huge games.

The Cascades volleyball teams wrap up the semester at home, taking on the Capilano Blues on Friday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Saturday (women 5 p.m., men 7 p.m.) at the Envision Athletic Centre.

The UFV hoopsters, meanwhile, head to Kamloops for a massive series vs. the Thompson Rivers WolfPack. Games run Friday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Saturday (women 5 p.m., men 7 p.m.), and will be webcast at ufv.canadawest.tv (pay per view).

MVB: Cascades aim to extend home-court excellence

Home court advantage has been powerful for the UFV men’s volleyball team over the last two seasons. In 2014-15, they picked up six of their seven wins at home, and they’re 3-0 at the Envision Athletic Centre thus far in 2015-16.

“We feel comfortable at home, and we hope to continue to make it a difficult place to play,” Cascades head coach Kyle Donen said. “After two long road trips, to be back on our home court is something we’re excited about as a team.”

The Cascades (5-5) are third in the PacWest conference, and are No. 15 in the CCAA national rankings. Right side Joel Kleingeltink leads the team and ranks third in the PacWest in total offence, accounting for 4.42 points per game. Other standouts for the Cascades include left side Adam Chaplin (second in the PacWest in aces, sixth in total offence), middle Dayton Pagliericci (first in blocks, 1.03 per set) and libero Isaiah Dahl (third in digs, 3.63 per set).

The Blues are fifth in the PacWest at 4-6, and they boast the conference’s leader in both kills and total offence in sophomore outside hitter Brendan Cairns.

“We just need to be aware of him,” Donen said. “In crunch-time situations, we know he’s going to be getting the ball, and we need to be prepared for that.”

WVB: Blues pose a stiff test for Cascades

The Capilano women’s volleyball team is coming in hot. Last weekend they swept the Camosun Chargers, ranked No. 3 in the nation at the time, and subsequently rose from No. 11 to No. 7 in the CCAA rankings.

The Cascades, coming off a weekend split vs. the College of the Rockies Avalanche on the road, will be trying to slow the Blues’ roll.

“They’re a very good team,” noted UFV head coach Mike Gilray. “They have a left side and a right side who are both in the top 10 of overall offensive stats, so we’ll have our work cut out for us as far as keeping them in check. But I’m excited that our girls are committed to taking care of our side of the net.”

The Cascades (3-7) are fifth in the PacWest, having enjoyed strong performances from the likes of middle Monique Huber (who ranks in the top 15 in the conference in total offence, aces and blocks), left side Rachel Funk (13th in the PacWest in kills, 2.07 per set) and libero Amy Davidson (fourth in the PacWest in digs, 3.24 per set).

Capilano (7-3) counters with a pair of elite attackers in Kira Sutcliffe and Alexis Sebok, who rank first and sixth, respectively, in the PacWest in total offence.

MBB: First-place showdown vs. WolfPack

The Cascades and WolfPack sit tied atop the Explorer Division with matching 5-1 records, and both teams will be looking to make a statement this weekend.

“It’s an exciting weekend,” Cascades head coach Adam Friesen acknowledged. “It’s always a tough road trip going up to Kamloops. Their frontcourt is probably the best in Canada West, and with our injuries in the frontcourt (Nate Brown and Mark Johnson are currently sidelined), we’re going to have to figure out a way to limit their effectiveness around the basket.”

The TRU frontcourt stars Friesen was alluding to are Volodymyr Iegorov and Josh Wolfram, who rank second and third, respectively, on the Canada West scoring list. Iegorov, a 6’7” forward from the Ukraine, is posting 23.2 points per game, while the 6’10” Wolfram is averaging a double-double with 23.0 points and 10.2 boards. The WolfPack also have an outstanding senior point guard running the offence in Reese Pribilsky – he’s third in the conference in assists (5.3 per game) and also averages 15.8 points.

“Having a fifth-year point guard always gives you an advantage in the game, and their two bigs are just really good basketball players – versatile, able to score both inside and outside,” Friesen noted.

The Cascades have a fifth-year star of their own in Kevon Parchment – the 6’3” swingman’s remarkable start to the season has him ranked in the top 25 in Canada West in points (18.8, 10th), rebounds (7.7, 10th), assists (5.0, sixth), blocks (1.7, sixth) and steals (1.5, 25th).

Vijay Dhillon (16.5 points per game) and Manny Dulay (11.5 ppg), UFV’s veteran backcourt stars, are both shooting better than 40 per cent from beyond the arc, and forwards Navjot Bains and Matt Cooley have been coming on strong in expanded roles – both players registered double-doubles in last Saturday’s road win over UNBC.

WBB: Cascades, WolfPack renew rivalry

The games on the women’s side loom just as large – the Cascades and WolfPack come in with matching 4-2 records, and they’ve developed a tremendous rivalry in recent years.

“It’s always a battle when we play Thompson Rivers,” UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer noted. “Even the years where we’ve been down or they’ve been down, it’s always a close game. I don’t foresee this being any different. They’re coming off a tough weekend, and I’m sure they’re going to be that much sharper and motivated.”

The WolfPack, the reigning Explorer Division champs, suffered a pair of losses on their home court last weekend vs. the MacEwan Griffins – a team the Cascades split with the weekend prior.

Thompson Rivers has a lot of dangerous offensive weapons, though, led by 6’2” fifth-year centre Kassie Colonna (15.7 ppg) and sophomore guard Emma Piggin (14.7 ppg, 9.2 rpg). Michelle Bos (11.2 ppg, 8.8 rpg) was a Canada West all-rookie selection last season, while Taiysa Worsfold (5.8 ppg) was a conference third team all-star.

The Cascades boast two of the conference’s top five scorers – Kayli Sartori ranks first at 20.0 points per game, while Shayna Cameron is fifth at 17.2. Both players are shooting just north of 47 per cent from three-point range. UFV has also been getting terrific contributions from rookie forward Taylor Claggett (12.8 points, 8.2 rebounds) and sharpshooting guard Sydney Williams (9.3 points).

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