UFV’s Alysha Cooper goes up for a spike against the CBC Bearcats on Friday. (John Morrow/Abbotsford New)

Bearcats men, Cascades women volleyball teams head to provincials

Pacwest regular season wraps up, teams head to Cranbrook starting Thursday

Last weekend’s ‘Battle of Abbotsford’ concluded the Pacwest volleyball regular season for both the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades and the Columbia Bible College Bearcats clubs, with the UFV women and the CBC men the only teams moving on to the playoffs.

The CBC men clinched the sixth and final Pacwest playoff spot with a huge 3-1 (26-24, 18-25, 25-22 and 25-21) win over the Cascades at Columbia Place on Thursday.

Both teams entered that game with identical 1-21 records, CBC, however, held a 5-3 edge in the first tiebreaker – head-to-head sets won/lost. As such, UFV could afford to lose one of this week’s matches vs. the Bearcats, but in no less than five sets. Thursday’s result ended UFV’s hopes of qualifying.

“Unfortunately we just didn’t rise to the occasion the way we needed to in order to keep the season alive,” UFV head coach Kyle Donen said afterward. “We fell a little flat when we needed a bit more so it’s a tough loss to swallow.”

CBC was led by Jacob Molitwenik with 16 kills, while Jakob Boschmann had 10.

The playoff berth is the first time the Bearcats men have made the postseason since the 2014-15 campaign.

The two teams met again at UFV’s Envision Athletic Centre on Friday, and the Cascades finished the season on a high note with a 3-2 (25-17, 20-25, 18-25, 26-24 and 15-10) win over the Bearcats.

“We definitely wish we were playing next weekend,” Donen said. “Unfortunately we didn’t give ourselves the chance to play for that tonight, but it was a battle we fought for each other. I’m proud of the guys for finishing that way.”

The Bearcats men’s team moves on the Pacwest playoffs, which begin Feb. 21 at the College of the Rockies in Cranbrook. CBC opens against the third-ranked Capilano Blues. The two teams met four times this season, with Capilano winning each game.

It was the opposite story for the women, as the Cascades defeated the Bearcats on Thursday and Friday and head into the playoffs ranked fourth.

UFV beat CBC 3-1 (25-13, 25-15, 22-25 and 25-22) on Thursday, and senior Kim Bauder led the way with 12 kills. Defensively, four players reached double digits in digs: Karissa Marazzi with 11, and Bauder, Kristen McBride and Cassidy King each with 10 of their own.

The Cascades continued their strong play on Friday, posting a 3-0 (25-14, 27-25 and 25-11) win over the Bearcats.

Bauder, who was honoured in a post-game Senior Night ceremony, hammered down the match-clinching kill and was subsequently mobbed by her teammates.

“I loved seeing the girls run onto the court for her and just mob her,” UFV head coach Mike Gilray said. “Kim is everything that we want athletes graduating from our program to be. We couldn’t have asked for a better kid to represent us as Cascade. But we aren’t done yet. We’re excited to keep her last season going (in the playoffs).”

UFV finished at 14-10 for the season, while the Bearcats ended at 1-23.

The women also head to COTR in Cranbrook and open the playoffs on Feb. 21 against the Blues. The teams met four times this season, with UFV winning three of those games.

Read next Wednesday’s print edition of the Abbotsford News for details on how the teams fare.

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