The UFV Cascades men’s and women’s volleyball teams will enter Canada West play in 2020.

The UFV Cascades men’s and women’s volleyball teams will enter Canada West play in 2020.

UFV volleyball teams approved for Canada West

Cascades menโ€™s, womenโ€™s squads begin CW play in 2020

The University of the Fraser Valley’s volleyball teams are moving on up – to Canada West competition beginning in 2020.

CW announced the addition of the Cascades on Thursday afternoon, making UFV the 13th men’s program and 14th women’s program in the conference.

The Cascades will play one final season of Pacwest competition starting this fall.

CW’s existing volleyball members voted on UFV’s application on Thursday at the annual general meeting, and the Cascades gained the required three-quarters majority.

The decision brings all of UFV’s varsity sports under the Canada West/U Sports banner. Basketball and soccer have competed in CW since 2006, wrestling was added in 2014, and golf will make its CW debut this fall as part of a brand-new league.

In conjunction with the move, UFV Athletics will hire full-time head coaches for the men’s and women’s volleyball teams. Previously, the volleyball coaching jobs had been part-time.

“We’re thrilled at the opportunity to join Canada West volleyball,” stated Steve Tuckwood, UFV director of athletics and campus recreation in a press release. “This will give even more players in the Fraser Valley and beyond the chance to play at the highest level in Canada. I want to acknowledge our colleagues at Pacwest and the CCAA who have been great partners of ours over the years.”

The Cascades volleyball teams have competed in Pacwest (formerly known as the B.C. Colleges Athletic Association) for 22 seasons – 1983-85, and 2004-present – and experienced a great deal of success. The women’s program won the CCAA national championship in 2013, and the men’s squad made a pair of CCAA national tourney appearances (2007 and 2009).

Current Cascades student-athletes greeted the news of the impending move up to CW with enthusiasm.

“We’re super-proud to be in that category,” said Amanda Matsui, a rising third-year left side with the UFV women’s volleyball program. “We also know it will be a lot of hard work to compete at this level. But we’ve already put in a lot of work in preparation, and I think it will be a good challenge. I’m really excited.”

“It’s definitely exciting for myself and the team,” echoed Justin Peleshytyk, a rising third-year outside hitter with the Cascades men’s volleyball squad. “It creates a different environment and focus in the group. We have one year to train for it, and it will be an exciting year to prepare. Our team wants to be pushed and wants to be challenged. The move to Canada West will propel us forward in the years to come.”

For more on the teams, visit gocascades.ca.