The UFV Cascades men’s and women’s volleyball teams debut in the Canada West on Nov. 5. (Dan Kinvig/UFV Athletics)

The UFV Cascades men’s and women’s volleyball teams debut in the Canada West on Nov. 5. (Dan Kinvig/UFV Athletics)

UFV volleyball teams making long-awaited Canada West debut in November

Men’s and women’s volleyball squads hitting the court for the first time in new conference

It’s been a long time coming, but the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades volleyball program finally has a date for their debut in Canada West action.

The men’s and women’s teams will officially make the jump from the Pacwest to the CW on Nov. 5 when they travel to Kelowna to take on the UBC-O Heat.

The home openers for both teams occur on Nov. 26, when the TRU Wolfpack come to Abbotsford.

The 21-22 men’s team features MEI grad Tyson Ardell, while the women’s team has locals Elizabeth Baird and MEI grad Cailin Bitter.

RELATED: MEI’s Ardell signs with UFV Cascades

The UFV volleyball squads were initially approved to move up to CW – where the Cascades basketball and soccer teams have played since 2006 – in May 2019, and they were slated to begin play in the fall of 2020. But with COVID-19 wiping out the 2020-21 season, their debut was delayed by a year.

RELATED: UFV volleyball teams approved for Canada West

The 21-22 CW schedule will have a greater focus on regional play, and the volleyball program will not venture outside of British Columbia during the regular season. The 16-game schedule will include four games (two home, two away) against each of their four provincial rivals – UBCO, UBC, Thompson Rivers and Trinity Western.

B.C. teams will cross over to face CW foes from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba for the first time in conference action when the playoffs open on March 4, 2022.

For more on the teams and the full schedule, visit gocascades.ca.

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