V-ball, hoops on menu at UFV

It's shaping up to be a huge sports week at the University of the Fraser Valley.

It’s shaping up to be a huge sports week at the University of the Fraser Valley.

The festivities at the Envision Athletic Centre begin on Thursday, as the Cascades volleyball teams host their crosstown rivals from Columbia Bible College. The women start things off at 6 p.m., followed by the men at 7:45 p.m., in a match-up that has come to be known as the Battle of Abbotsford.

The men’s game figures to be particularly fascinating. The CBC Bearcats men are second in the B.C. Colleges Athletic Association (BCCAA) with a 7-4 record, and are ranked No. 11 in the country after sweeping the Camosun Chargers and Vancouver Island University Mariners on the road last weekend.

But the Cascades matched that feat, sweeping the Island squads in a pair of five-set thrillers. They’re fifth in the BCCAA at 4-5 on the season, and seem to be hitting their stride.

On Friday and Saturday, the UFV hoopsters welcome the Regina Cougars for a pair of CIS basketball doubleheaders. The Regina women are one of the marquee programs in the country – at 13-3, they’re second in Canada West and ranked No. 5 nationally.

The Cascades women (8-8) have been coming on strong, though, posting an upset victory on Jan. 14 over an Alberta Pandas squad that was tops in Canada West at the time.

The UFV men, meanwhile, are intent on improving their post-season position. At 6-10, they currently occupy the eighth and final Canada West playoff spot. The Regina men (10-6) are in fifth place.

The basketball women tip off at 6 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday, while the men go at 8 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday.

The Cascades are running a pair of weekend basketball promotions. Friday is UFV student night, and all students receive free admission and the chance to win prizes.

Saturday’s games are dedicated to raising funds and awareness about breast cancer. In conjunction with the local chapter of the B.C. Cancer Foundation, the women’s basketball team has been raising pledges, asking fans to donate a sum of money for every point they score on Saturday.

Additionally, UFV will be selling pink T-shirts featuring both the Cascades logo and the Cure Breast Cancer logo, with a portion of the sales going to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Both the men’s and women’s teams will wear the shirts during warm-ups.