2015-16 SEASON IN REVIEW
Regular season record: 14-10, fourth in PACWEST
Post-season record: 0-1 (lost in PACWEST quarter-finals)
Returning stat leaders: Joel Kleingeltink (3.35 kills/set, 4.16 points of total offence/set, 0.35 aces/set), Isaiah Dahl (3.69 digs/set), Dayton Pagliericci (0.74 blocks/set).
This weekend: Cascades vs. Capilano Blues, 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 Cascades have a nice blend of veterans and young players this season, led by Joel Kleingeltink and Isaiah Dahl. Both Langley, B.C. products were PACWEST second team all-stars in 2015-16, and were among the most prolific players in the league at their respective positions. Dahl, a third-year libero, led the PACWEST in digs, while fifth-year right side Kleingeltink ranked third in both kills and total points per set.
Head coach Kyle Donen said he’s looking for both players to take a step forward this season in terms of their leadership.
“The way they contributed last year, we expect them to bring that same passion for the game this year,” Donen said. “They’ve both evolved as leaders, and I’m looking for that part of their game to continue to grow, because their skillsets will speak for themselves. Their leadership skills will make our entire group that much stronger.”
Fellow veterans Dayton Pagliericci, Nick Bruce and Adam Frederickson will also play key roles for the Cascades. Pagliericci is a force in the middle – the third-year player was seventh in the league in blocks last year. Donen is excited to see fourth-year left side Bruce back at full strength after battling injuries in the second half of last season, and third-year setter Frederickson heads into his second full season as starter.
The rest of Donen’s roster is comprised entirely of first- and second-year players, and the third-year bench boss believes each of his youngsters has the potential to contribute at some point this season. A trio of sophomores are poised to play key roles right away – middle Connor Pruim steps into the starting lineup after a one-year apprenticeship, and Douglas College transfer Matt Whittall and second-year Cascade Ben Friesen are vying with Bruce for playing time on the left side. Among the rookies, middle Luc De Gianni has had a particularly promising preseason.
“I think the sky is the limit for this group,” Donen said. “We’re striving towards qualifying for nationals, and I think we have some experienced pieces in place to do that. It’s a matter of working hard and having that end goal in mind, motivating us to get there.”