The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball players have had Nov. 8 and 9 circled on their calendars since the PacWest conference schedule was released, and the same is likely true of their counterparts from Vancouver Island University.
The top two teams in the PacWest are both undefeated heading into a weekend set at UFV’s Envision Athletic Centre. The Cascades, the defending national champs, boast a 6-0 record and are ranked No. 1 in the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association, while the 8-0 Mariners are No. 7 nationally.
“You can’t hide the fact that you look forward to these games,” UFV coach Dennis Bokenfohr acknowledged. “It’s always fun to measure up against each other.”
The Cascades women are coming off a pair of hard-fought wins in Victoria last weekend vs. the Camosun Chargers – the hosts pushed them to four sets on Friday and five on Saturday.
“It’s a gym we’ve never seemed to play our best games in,” Bokenfohr said. “Maybe it’s in our heads, but at the same time, you’ve got to give credit to Camosun. They played well this weekend.”
The UFV men’s volleyball team (3-3) split its weekend set at Camosun, falling in three sets on Friday before rebounding for a five-set win Sunday.
The VIU games this weekend run Friday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Saturday (women 1 p.m., men 3 p.m.) at the Envision Athletic Centre.
BEARCATS WOMEN ADJUSTING TO LIFE WITHOUT STAR SETTER
Across town at Columbia Bible College, the Bearcats women’s volleyball team is navigating some turbulence since losing star setter Anna Cupido to a knee injury on opening weekend vs. UFV.
CBC, which returned six of seven starters after winning the PacWest silver medal last year, expected to contend again this season, but now find themselves 0-6 following a pair of straight-sets losses at VIU last week.
“You start to get a bit more detailed picture of the type of personalities you’re dealing with when you go through some turmoil,” head coach Duncan Harrison said.
“At this point, I’m trying to mentally prepare the team to play without (Cupido) for the rest of the year. If she comes back, we’ll look at it as a bonus.”
Cupido’s long-term prognosis isn’t clear at this point – she’s undergoing an MRI on Nov. 9 to determine whether she’s got an ACL tear or just a sprain, and will get the results next week. In the meantime, her younger sister Maria, who plays right side most of the time, has taken over the setting duties, and Harrison said she’s done “an admirable job.”
The Bearcats men’s squad, meanwhile, sit at 3-3 following a two-game split vs. the Mariners. They lost in three sets Friday before winning in five on Saturday.
The CBC volleyballers host Camosun on Friday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Saturday (women 1 p.m., men 3 p.m.) at Columbia Place.
CBC HOOPSTERS SWEPT IN SURREY
The Bearcats basketball teams opened the PacWest regular season with road losses last Friday vs. the Kwantlen Eagles in Surrey.
The CBC women dropped a 76-45 decision to the Eagles, while the men lost 100-89 despite 26 points from Marcio Juk, 20 from Addison King and 18 from Hudson Naylor.
The Bearcat hoopsters are on the road this weekend to face VIU on Friday and Camosun on Saturday.