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Holiday varsity update

Over the Christmas break, there were many events that occurred in the wide world of sports. The World Junior Hockey Championship, the NCAA College Football Championship, the NFL playoffs, and of course (this year) the agonizing dispute known as the NHL lockout. That being said, we, as students of UFV, can now take the time to catch up with our own varsity teams in volleyball and basketball. Here’s what you need to know:

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By Kyle Balzer (Contributor) – Email

Print Edition: January 9, 2013

Over the Christmas break, there were many events that occurred in the wide world of sports. The World Junior Hockey Championship, the NCAA College Football Championship, the NFL playoffs, and of course (this year) the agonizing dispute known as the NHL lockout. That being said, we, as students of UFV, can now take the time to catch up with our own varsity teams in volleyball and basketball. Here’s what you need to know:

Women’s Volleyball

Our women’s volleyball squad has dominated in the 2012-2013 season, holding a record of 11-1 at the end of 2012. Going into the New Year with three straight wins, the Cascades are sitting at the top of the national rankings, claiming the best spot in the CCAA thus far. They are led by veteran middle Kayla Bruce, who currently ranks second in the PACWEST division for Total Offensive Stats, having played 44 sets this season. She also ranks second in the PACWEST for total blocks with 39. Team captain and fifth-year libero Brittany Stewart is ranked third in the PACWEST for total digs with 153, averaging 4.03 digs per game. The ladies are hoping to extend their winning streak as they will take on the Douglas College Royals in New Westminster on January 11-12. They’ll return home the weekend after, playing the Capilano University Blues, who only rank fifth in the PACWEST.

Men’s Volleyball

For the men’s volleyball team, it has been a bit of a struggle to find some wins this season. Despite several valiant efforts they have continued coming up short against competition that includes three of the top 10 schools in the national rankings. The men only have one win this season, defeating the Camosun College Chargers 3-2 in a very close match-up. Fifth-year middle Trevor Nickel ranks sixth in the PACWEST division for total blocks with 29. The Cascades go into 2013 looking for an upset when they play the Douglas College Royals, who rank second in the CCAA, in New Westminster on January 11-12. They’ll also return home the next weekend to play the Capilano University Blues.

Women’s Basketball

Our women’s basketball team has proven that they are one of the teams to look out for in the CIS this year. With their record sitting at nine wins and only one loss, they currently rank first in the Canada West Pacific division and second in the national rankings. They’ll kick off 2013 with a fresh start after losing their first game back on December 1 to the University of Regina, who rank third in the CIS. Forwards Sarah and Nicole Wierks are holding the fifth and sixth spots in the Canada West for Field Goal Percentages (54.3 and 53.5 per cent), while fourth-year guard Courtney Bartel sits as the fourth-ranked player in the Canada West for Three-point Percentages (41.9 per cent). The women will start the second half of their season at home, taking on the University of Saskatchewan Huskies and the University of Alberta Pandas on January 11-12.

Men’s Basketball

Just like the women’s team, our men’s basketball squad are a force to be reckoned with in the CIS this season. After finishing 2012 with five straight wins, the “green men” are currently ranked as the sixth best team in Canada thus far. The men were the only team from UFV to compete in a tournament over the Christmas break, travelling south of the border to play in the annual Cactus Jam Holiday Hoops Classic in Phoenix, Arizona. Using this tournament as a conditioning camp with exhibition play against three top colleges from the NCAA junior league, the Cascades were up to the challenge of playing by different rules, as opposed to their usual CIS rules. Despite losing all three of their exhibition games to these highly ranked teams, UFV was led by guard Jordan Blackman, who scored a combined three-game total of 47 points. Back here in the Canada West, veteran guard Sam Freeman ranks third in scoring, averaging 19 points a game, second in three-pointers made with 26, and 12th in three-point percentages (41.3 per cent). Second-year guard Kevon Parchment, a recent Canada West athlete of the week, ranks fourth in scoring, averaging 19 points, as well as third in free-throw percentages (94.5 per cent); he’s also first in offensive rebounds with 30. Looking to move further up in the CIS Top 10 poll, the men will play the University of Saskatchewan Huskies and the University of Alberta Golden Bears on January 11-12.

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