Three teams from the University of the Fraser Valley athletic department merited mentions in the national rankings this week, and Ben Friesen of the Cascades men’s volleyball squad has earned a weekly award.
MWRES maintains No. 3 ranking
The Cascades men’s wrestling team, for the second straight week, is No. 3 in the U SPORTS national poll.
The program spent this past Saturday in Spokane, Wash. at the Spokane Open, a major tournament which brought together teams from both sides of the border. Reigning U SPORTS national champ Brad Hildenbrandt provided the major highlight for the UFV men, winning bronze in the 285-pound weight class.
On the women’s side, Karla Godinez Gonzalez took gold in the 130-pound division, Glaysia Sparling was third at 191 pounds, and Brittney Chiu (123 pounds) and Ashley Coupal (116 pounds) both finished fourth.
WVB stays put at No. 7
The Cascades women’s volleyball team is coming off a two-game sweep of the College of the Rockies Avalanche – a team which checked in at No. 11 in last week’s edition of the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) national rankings.
Those impressive results allowed the UFV squad to maintain its own position in the CCAA rankings – they check in at No. 7 for the fourth straight week.
The Cascades are set to face a nationally ranked foe for the third consecutive weekend, as they head to Nanaimo to take on the No. 3 Vancouver Island University Mariners in a Friday-Saturday set.
MVB debuts at No. 14
The UFV men’s volleyball team cracked the CCAA national rankings for the first time this season, snagging the No. 14 spot.
The Cascades, on the heels of two weekend wins over College of the Rockies, climbed to third place in the PACWEST standings at 5-5. They’ll look to bolster their position this weekend, as they face the CCAA No. 3-ranked VIU Mariners on the road.
Friesen named PACWEST athlete of the week
The Cascades’ Ben Friesen is the PACWEST conference men’s volleyball athlete of the week after leading his team to two victories over College of the Rockies.
The third-year left side out of Abbotsford’s Mennonite Educational Institute racked up 13 kills, 16 digs and a block as UFV outlasted the Avalanche in five sets on Saturday. In Sunday’s rematch, the 2016-17 PACWEST second team all-star hammered down 15 more kills and registered another 16 digs as the Cascades prevailed in four sets.
Friesen posted a tidy .328 hitting efficiency over the two games, and his 32 combined digs are indicative of his well-rounded skillset and ability to impact the game in ways that go beyond his attacking prowess.