Libero Brittany Stewart and the UFV volleyball women are ranked No. 1 in Canada for the first time in team history.

Libero Brittany Stewart and the UFV volleyball women are ranked No. 1 in Canada for the first time in team history.

PacWest wrap: Cascades v-ball women ascend to No. 1 in national poll

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team earned an early Christmas present – the No. 1 national ranking.

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team capped a memorable first half by earning an early Christmas gift – the No. 1 national ranking.

The Cascades ascended to the top spot in the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) poll on Tuesday, marking the first time in program history that they’ve held that heady distinction.

UFV was ranked No. 3 last week, but a weekend loss by the former No. 1 Grant MacEwan Griffins of Edmonton allowed them to leapfrog both the Griffins and the No. 2 Humber Hawks into top spot.

“I am very happy for the players,” UFV head coach Dennis Bokenfohr said. “They are receiving the recognition throughout the country they have earned.”

The Cascades, national bronze medalists last year, head into the semester break in first place in the PacWest conference at 11-1. They wrapped up the first half with a weekend sweep of the Douglas Royals, winning in in straight sets Friday before eking out a five-set thriller on Saturday.

“We played with a lot less energy (than on Friday), and it showed in our finish,” Bokenfohr noted. “It wasn’t what we’ve come to expect.

“But it’s gone really well for us so far, close to ideal how you’d like the first semester to go.”

• In other PacWest weekend action, the Cascades men’s volleyballers (1-11) were swept by Douglas, falling in three sets Friday and in four sets Saturday.

• The Columbia Bible College women’s volleyball team (7-5) split a pair of home games against the Capilano Blues. They lost in an epic five-setter on Friday, but bounced back to win in three straight Saturday.

The Bearcats, who slipped from No. 10 to No. 13 in the national rankings on Tuesday, got a huge weekend performance from Sadie Ball. She racked up 21 kills and 18 digs in the opener, and had 19 kills and 11 digs in the second game vs. the Blues.

• The CBC men’s volleyballers (2-10) dropped both games against Capilano – in three sets on Friday and in four on Saturday.

• The Bearcats men’s hoopsters (2-4) are the cardiac kids of the PacWest. Both of their victories this season have come in overtime, including Friday’s 97-90 road win over the Kwantlen Eagles. Point guard Kevin Ford had a massive game, scoring 40 points on 15-of-19 shooting from the field.

• The CBC women’s basketball team (0-6) is still looking for its first win after falling 76-38 to Kwantlen.

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