The UFV Cascades men’s volleyball program added four new players on Monday. (UFV Cascades photo)

UFV men’s volleyball adds four players

Cascades continue loading up for Canada West debut later this year

The University of the Fraser Valley Cascades men’s volleyball team continues stocking up talent as they prepare for the program’s entry into Canada West competition.

The Cascades – set to move up to Canada West/U Sports following 18 seasons in the Pacwest– announced on Monday the additions of Ryan Adams (Sherwood Park, Alta.), Bailey Burdick (Summerland, B.C.), Josh Gagnon (Red Deer, Alta.) and Comrie Engbers (Langley).

The quartet joins six previously announced additions as part of the Cascades’ 2020 recruiting class.

RELATED: MEI’s Ardell signs with UFV Cascades

Adams spent the 2018-19 campaign with the Thompson Rivers WolfPack, seeing action in seven regular-season matches, and joins the Cascades after taking the 2019-20 season off. He had an outstanding prep career, earning Alberta provincial and Best of the West titles with Edmonton’s Fog Volleyball Club, and helping the club to a fourth-place finish at nationals in 2018. He was also selected for the Team Alberta program.

“He’s definitely got a U Sports body,” Cascades head coach Nathan Bennett said, noting Adams’s 6’9” stature. “His physicality is unquestionable. Everywhere he’s played, his teammates have a lot of good things to say about him, and I’m looking forward to working with him to reach our program goals and his personal goals.”

Burdick had an excellent high school career at Summerland Secondary, and was ranked No. 12 among high school seniors in B.C. by VarsityLetters.ca in 2018. His prep career was highlighted by a selection to Canada’s youth national team, and he was part of B.C.’s Elite Selects program. An outstanding all-around athlete, Burdick has also had national team looks in bobsleigh and rowing.

“He’s an excellent character guy, and a great athlete,” Bennett said “He took a year off after high school and he has a hunger now and a drive to compete at the highest level. I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Gagnon boast an incredible volleyball lineage – his father Terry is a former Canadian national teamer who played in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Gagnon was a fixture on Alberta’s provincial teams, representing the province in indoor at the U16 and U17 levels, and on the beach at U16 and U18.

“He has a really high volleyball pedigree coming from Red Deer and a great volleyball family,” Bennett noted. “He’ll come in and push for a spot right away. He’s a student of the game.”

Engbers had an outstanding high school career at Surrey Christian, leading the Falcons to a B.C. AA provincial championship berth and an eighth-place finish last season. Along the way, he earned South Fraser zone first team all-star honours, and a second team provincial all-star nod.

“He’s a great character player, a great teammate, and works really hard,” Bennett said. “I’m looking forward to watching his development over the years.”

UFV Cascades

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