The UFV Cascades men’s volleyball team added Nimo Benne (left) and Jonas Van Huizen for the 2021 season. (Submitted)

The UFV Cascades men’s volleyball team added Nimo Benne (left) and Jonas Van Huizen for the 2021 season. (Submitted)

Langley’s Van Huizen, Netherlands native Benne signed by UFV Cascades

Men’s volleyball team picks up two strong pieces to prepare for 2021 Canada West season

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team scooped up a pair of touted players, signing Netherlands native Nimo Benne and Langley’s Jonas Van Huizen for the 2021 season.

Benne, a 6’8” outside hitter, transfers to UFV from Thompson Rivers University, where he earned Canada West rookie of the year honours in 2019-20. Van Huizen, a 6’3” setter, was one of B.C.’s top-rated prospects in the Class of 2020 out of Langley Christian Secondary.

“I couldn’t be more happy that Nimo and Jonas have chosen UFV,” Cascades head coach Nathan Bennett stated in a press release. “This sets the foundation of our program for many years to come.”

Van Huizen’s prep career saw him recognized as the No. 2-ranked graduating senior in B.C. in the Class of 2020, per VarsityLetters.ca’s annual coaches’ poll to determine the province’s top 15 prospects. The Cascades now have two players from the upper echelon of that list, with Van Huizen joining No. 4 prospect Tyson Ardell out of Abbotsford’s MEI.

RELATED: MEI’s Ardell signs with UFV Cascades

“We’re just ecstatic to have him,” Bennett said of Van Huizen, who had originally committed to Thompson Rivers before changing course and choosing the Cascades. “He’s a special athlete, and he has a very high ceiling when it comes to the setting position. He adds a competitive nature to our program, and a high volleyball IQ. We’re pleased to continue to build with local talent, and we’re happy that Jonas has chosen us as we build our competitive environment.”

Van Huizen’s high school tenure saw him lead the LCS Lightning to a silver medal at the B.C. AA championships in 2019. He earned back-to-back first team all-star nods at provincials in 2018 and 2019, and added MVP honours at the Eastern Valley championships last fall.

On the club scene, Van Huizen picked up U18 first team provincial all-star honours with the Fraser Valley Volleyball Club, and he joined forces with Ardell to help Team BC win gold at the Canada Cup in Halifax in 2019.

Benne’s university volleyball debut in Canada last season was a smash hit, and netted him several accolades. In addition to his Canada West rookie of the year nod, he also earned selection to the CW and U Sports all-rookie teams.

Benne finished fourth in the CW for kills with 265. He also ranked among the conference leaders in kills per set (3.23, ninth), total digs (131, ninth), digs per set (1.60, 12th) and in hitting percentage (.254, 12th).

Benne represented the Netherlands at the U20 European Championships in 2018, helping the squad to a fourth-place finish, and his club side, Talent Team Papendal-Arnhem, finished fifth in the nation’s top league. He plans to major in computing science at UFV.

“For us, it’s a game-changer,” Bennett said, reflecting on Benne’s signing. “It shows a lot of trust on Nimo’s side to come here and see what we’re doing, and understand this is a good spot for him to grow as an athlete and a student. He did a great job last season at Thompson Rivers University, and we’re excited to add a player of his pedigree in our quest to be a contending program in Canada West.”

For more, visit gocascades.ca.

abbotsfordUFV CascadesVolleyball

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Construction has begun on the new Eagle Mountain elementary school in Abbotsford. (Screengrab from video by CHP Architects)
Construction begins on new Eagle Mountain elementary school in Abbotsford

School, including childcare spaces, is set to open in September 2022

Bill Hireen joined Remembrance Day celebrations in Abbotsford in 2019. The veteran and long-time civic supporter passed away on Dec. 31, 2020. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Long-time Abbotsford city council supporter dies of COVID-19

Bill Hireen was a frequent visitor to council and police board meetings

Uber Eats has announced that it is now delivering food orders in Abbotsford and Chilliwack. (Submitted photo by Justin Walker)
Uber Eats announces expansion into Abbotsford

Food-delivery company is staring with 60 local restaurants

Nakota Hinksman had been reported missing in Abbotsford, but has since been located.
UPDATE: Missing teen with autism has been located in Abbotsford

Nakota Hinksman, 18, had been missing since 3:20 a.m. on Tuesday

NHL Central Scouting has ranked three Abbotsford hockey talents as likely to be drafted in 2021. (Twitter photo)
Trio of Abbotsford hockey talents placed on NHL watch list

Abbotsford’s Chiasson, Milne and Sward all ranked as C grade prospects for 2021 NHL draft

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
RCMP appeal for witnesses after hit-and-run leaves girl, 17, in critical condition

The Metro Vancouver teenager was found unconscious and critically injured after being hit: police

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
Canadians divided over Keystone pipeline, despite U.S. president’s permit pullback

Two-thirds of Canadians think Biden’s decision was a “bad thing” for Alberta

Most Read