UFV Cascades volleyball teams eye provincial titles

Men’s, women’s squads head to Nanaimo for PacWest championships

UFV’s Connor Prium goes up to block a shot from CBC’s Mark Goertzen during Saturday’s game.

UFV’s Connor Prium goes up to block a shot from CBC’s Mark Goertzen during Saturday’s game.

The UFV Cascades men’s and women’s volleyball teams are heading to Vancouver Island with provincial title possibilities on their minds.

Both teams head to Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island University for the PacWest Volleyball Championships, which open today (Thursday) and run until Saturday night.

The men’s team finished the regular season in style on Saturday, with a sweep of cross-town rivals the Columbia Bible College Bearcats. The Cascades swept the Bearcats 3-0 (25-14, 25-17 and 25-18) on home court on Saturday, after beating CBC 3-0 (25-21, 25-22 and 26-24) on their home court on Thursday.

The pair of wins ended a strong run in the new year that has seen the team win eight of 10 matches.

The men finished the regular season in second place, with a record of 17 wins and seven losses. The second-place finish means the club will receive a first-round bye, and will get a chance to rest on Thursday before taking on the winner of the Camosun Chargers and Capilano Blues quarter-final game.

The semifinal game occurs on Friday at 3 p.m. If the Cascades win, they advance to the gold-medal game on Saturday night. A loss means they will play for bronze on Saturday afternoon.

The strong season for the men’s team was also recognized by the league on Wednesday, as fifth-year Joel Kleingeltink was named a first team all-star. UFV’s Isaiah Dahl and Ben Friesen were also named second team all-stars.

The women’s team also ended the season on a high note, with wins over the Bearcats on Thursday and Saturday.

The women defeated CBC 3-1 (12-25, 25-10, 25-23 and 25-14) on the road, and then took care of home court with a 3-2 win (25-17, 26-24, 20-25, 23-25 and 15-9) on Saturday.

The pair of wins helped UFV leapfrog Camosun to finish fifth in the PacWest, with a final record of nine wins and 15 losses. The higher ranking also means the Cascades battle the College of the Rockies Avalanche, as opposed to the higher-ranked Capilano Blues.

The women battle COTR today at 6 p.m. A win would advance the Cascades to a semifinal game against the top-ranked and host team the VIU Mariners on Friday at 6 p.m.

In other news, women’s players Rachel Funk and Jessica Funk were both recognized as second team PacWest all-stars on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Bearcats player and MEI alumni Julia Weiss was named to the PacWest all-rookie team.