UFV’s Carly Barker (3) and Kierra Noot (10) throw up a block against Sadie Ball of the CBC Bearcats. The Cascades swept a pair of games vs. their crossdown rivals

UFV’s Carly Barker (3) and Kierra Noot (10) throw up a block against Sadie Ball of the CBC Bearcats. The Cascades swept a pair of games vs. their crossdown rivals

Cascades v-ball women open season with statement wins over rival Bearcats

On the weekend they unveiled their national championship banner, the UFV women’s volleyball team served notice they’ll be tough to dethrone

On the weekend they unveiled their national championship banner in the rafters of the Envision Athletic Centre, the University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team served notice they’ll be awfully tough to dethrone.

The Cascades opened the PacWest regular season by sweeping a pair of games vs. their crosstown rivals, the Columbia Bible College Bearcats.

The Bearcats are coming off a terrific season in their own right, winning the PacWest silver medal and earning their first trip to nationals, and they return six of seven starters this fall.

But UFV won in straight sets on both Friday at Columbia Place (25-16, 25-20 and 25-22) and Saturday at the Envision Athletic Centre (25-21, 25-19 and 25-11).

“We were pretty excited to play – CBC is a tough opponent, that’s for sure,” Cascades coach Dennis Bokenfohr noted. “A lot of people have been talking about how CBC was ready to take the next step. But we’re going to make it hard for them, because the next step would be taking us.

“With four new players in our starting lineup, it was about seeing how they would react against different pressures from CBC. I was extremely impressed with our overall defence, from the blocking to the consistency of the digs we were getting. It was fun to watch.”

On the men’s side, the Bearcats and Cascades split the two-game set, with each team holding serve at home.

CBC was victorious in four sets on Friday (12-25, 25-21, 31-29, 25-18), and UFV rebounded for a matching four-set win on Saturday (25-22, 25-21, 16-25, 25-21).

• Both of Abbotsford’s PacWest volleyball programs play at home on Friday and Saturday. The Cascades host the Douglas Royals, while the Bearcats take on the Capilano Blues. The women play at 6 p.m. and the men at 8 p.m. both nights.