The UFV Cascades women’s team enters the Pacwest provincials ranked fourth in the conference. (Dan Kinvig/UFV Athletics)

UFV Cascades last Pacwest dance

Volleyball program moving to Canada West play after this weekend’s provincials

This weekend marks the final time that the UFV Cascades men’s and women’s volleyball teams compete for Pacwest glory.

The Cascades volleyball program makes the big shift to Canada West play in the fall, but have one last opportunity to raise a banner in at the Pacwest Provincials at Douglas College starting Thursday.

The women, who finished the regular season at 11-13 and fourth overall, first take on the fifth-ranked College of the Rockies Avalanche (10-14) at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday.

UFV won the season series against COTR 3-1, last beating the team 3-1 in Cranbrook back on Feb. 8.

“I think we need to be very disciplined in our movements – quicker to get into our defensive spots, having more disciplined hands on blocking. They did a good job hitting high off our hands last time we played them. I think if we sharpen up all of our movements (defensively), it’ll help us a lot,” stated Cascades outside hitter Amanda Matsui.

The winner advances to the semifinal game on Friday at 5:30 p.m., Thursday’s loser will say farewell to the 2019-20 season.

The women recently saw three team members earn recognition for strong seasons, as Matsui and Chelsea Kidd were named to the league’s second team all-star squad and Sedona Arabsky was the recipient of the conference’s rookie of the year award and named to the all-rookie team.

The men will have a more challenging route to the title, as the club finished in the sixth and final playoff spot with a record of 6-18. They match up with the third seed Capilano Blues (18-6).

Capilano swept the season series with the Cascades 4-0, last beating UFV 3-0 in Abbotsford on Jan. 31. UFV managed just one set win in the four games against the Blues this season.

“They’re a really deep team with a lot of big hitters,” stated UFV left side Caleb Kastelein. “They’re also gritty defenders, and it’s tough to extend rallies with them. I just think they were more polished than us in the past four meetings. But a lot can happen in just one game, and at provincials, there are always going to be upsets. We’re feeling good about ourselves, especially with how training’s gone the last couple weeks.”

The Cascades take on Capilano on Thursday at 3 p.m. The winner advances to the semifinal on Friday, the loser goes home.

In other men’s team news, Kastelein was named to the Pacwest all-rookie team for his excellent debut campaign. The Langley Christian Secondary grad stepped right into the starting lineup and was a consistent contributor all year, finishing top-10 in the conference in both kills (2.65/set, eighth) and total offence (3.06 points/set, seventh).

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