A top-10 match-up between the University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team and the Douglas Royals highlights the Cascades’ upcoming weekend home slate, while the Cascades basketball teams hit the road to face the Regina Cougars.
WVB: Royals a tough early-season test for Cascades
Friday, Nov. 10: Cascades (5-1, 3rd in PACWEST, No. 7 in CCAA national rankings) vs. Douglas Royals (7-1, 2nd in PACWEST, No. 3 in CCAA), 6 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 11: Cascades vs. Royals, 5 p.m.
Envision Financial Athletic Centre
The Cascades-Royals clashes are arguably the most intriguing games of the week in the entire Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association. It’s not often that top-10 nationally ranked teams meet in the regular season, and the games at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre are the only such women’s volleyball matches this weekend.
With both teams carrying just one loss on their respective ledgers, this week’s results could go a long way to determining whether one (or both) of these teams secures a top-two seed in the PACWEST and the first-round playoff bye that goes with it.
“These games are definitely going to be competitive,” Cascades captain Kim Bauder said. “We’re expecting them to come out full-force. Their team looks really good so far, and we’ve done lots of game-planning and video to prepare. They have a lot of new players, so there are a lot of aspects we have to learn about them. But I believe that if we play as a team and put forth our full effort, we should do well this weekend.”
Players to watch: Cascades redshirt freshman Amanda Matsui has gotten off to an outstanding start to the campaign. She’s leading the entire PACWEST in aces, averaging 0.87 per set, just ahead of teammate Monique Huber (0.75/set). And she’s third in the conference in total offence (3.78 points/set) and fifth in kills (2.70/set). The Royals counter with a first-year standout of their own – Caet McCorkell leads her team and is fifth in the PACWEST in total offence (3.73 points.set) and sits second overall in kills (3.30/set).
MVB: Cascades look to continue momentum
Friday, Nov. 10: Cascades (2-4, 5th in PACWEST) vs. Douglas Royals (4-4, 4th in PACWEST), 8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 11: Cascades vs. Royals, 7 p.m.
Envision Financial Athletic Centre
The last game action for the Cascades men’s volleyball team was nearly two weeks ago, but it was the type of result that head coach Kyle Donen and his charges can build on – a five-set victory over the Camosun Chargers. They hope to continue that momentum out of their bye week against a Douglas team that’s directly above them in the PACWEST standings.
“We had some good growth over that weekend, and we’re excited to get back onto the floor and channel that energy and mentality we had against Douglas,” Donen said. “They’re a very different team than Camosun – they’ve got a different style. They’re not as big as Camosun size-wise, but they’ve got a couple guys who serve the ball pretty tough, and we’ll need to wait for our opportunity against a team with guys who do that well.”
The last game between the Cascades and Royals was the PACWEST bronze medal game last spring, with Douglas emerging victorious. Donen feels that history will give his team some “extra excitement” this weekend.
Players to watch: Cascades fifth-year left side Nick Bruce had a breakout weekend against Camosun, racking up 54 total points (including 47 kills) over two five-set matches en route to PACWEST men’s volleyball athlete of the week honours. He currently ranks third in the league in kills (3.65/set) and fourth in total offence (4.35 points/set). Just ahead of Bruce in the total offence rankings is Royals rookie outside hitter Reid Marriott, who’s averaging 4.44 points/set.
WBB: Cascades seek to slow top-ranked Cougars
Friday, Nov. 10: Cascades (2-2) at Regina Cougars (2-0, No. 1 in U SPORTS national rankings), 6 p.m. CST
Saturday, Nov. 11: Cascades at Cougars, 6 p.m. CST
The Cascades couldn’t find a tougher test in all of Canada than what the schedule’s serving up this weekend. Their opponent, the Regina Cougars, hold down the No. 1 spot in the U SPORTS national rankings, and UFV gets to face them on the road.
“For us, it’s an opportunity to play a really quality team,” said Cascades head coach Al Tuchscherer, whose team is coming off a weekend sweep of the Mount Royal Cougars. “It’s an opportunity for us to prep at a very high level and compete at the very high level. When you play very good competition, you need to elevate your game, and that’s what I fully expect our team to do.”
Players to watch: Cascades third-year power forward Taylor Claggett is coming off a tremendous weekend vs. Mount Royal. She racked up 16 points and 16 rebounds in Friday’s 68-47 victory, and registered 18 points, seven boards and four assists (with zero turnovers) in 39 minutes in Saturday’s 76-64 triumph. She’s leading Canada West in rebounding, averaging 10.8 per game. It’s difficult to single out one player on an absolutely stacked Regina team which has four players scoring in double figures. Sophomore guard Kyanna Giles, the reigning Canada West and U SPORTS rookie of the year, leads the team in scoring at 15.5 points per game.
MBB: Consistency key for Cascades vs. Cougars
Friday, Nov. 10: Cascades (1-3) at Regina Cougars (1-1), 8 p.m. CST
Saturday, Nov. 11: Cascades at Cougars, 8 p.m. CST
The Cascades men’s hoopsters showed flashes of potential last weekend, winning Friday’s game vs. Mount Royal 86-80, but their second-half struggles in Saturday’s 88-59 loss to the same opponent showed there are still plenty of areas for growth for this young squad.
“Obviously defensively, we want to be better,” UFV bench boss Adam Friesen said. “I think we’re playing hard, we’ve just got to play smarter and limit our mistakes each weekend.
“Regina is a good team. Their guards are going to be tough for us to handle, and they’ve got some really good decision-makers. Defensively, we’re going to have to be working really hard and communicating.”
Players to watch: Sophomore centre Sukhman Sandhu provided some of the brightest moments for the Cascades last weekend. On Friday he racked up 10 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks, and Saturday’s stat line included 20 points, six rebounds and two blocks. Sandhu, who stands 6’10”, is the conference leader in blocks shots (3.0 per game) and ranks 10th overall in rebounding (7.8), while pacing the Cascades in scoring (12.0 points per game). For the Cougars, Alex Igual – a fifth-year guard from Spain – is off to an outstanding start. His 20.5 points per game are sixth-most in Canada West, and he’s shooting 47.1 per cent from beyond the arc.