By Nathan Hutton (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: January 7, 2015

The Cascades are looking to climb the rankings, despite playing only three games at home. (Image:L UFV / Flickr)
The Cascades are looking to climb the rankings, despite playing only three games at home. (Image:L UFV / Flickr)

The potential for teams to get back into a game, even after it seems like there is no possible way, happens to the extreme in volleyball. The UFV women’s volleyball team entered the break in third place in the PacWest — still a playoff position, but on the fringe. The Cascades, however, are the third of four PacWest teams in the national rankings. At ninth place, they’re in front of the VIU Mariners (14th) and behind the Camosun Chargers (6th) and Capilano Blues (3rd). They’re where they deserve to be at this point in the season.

In contrast, the men’s volleyball team has been one of the surprises in the latter part of 2014. Their 12 points, which is responsible for their fourth place in the conference, seemingly guarantees that they will play at least one post-season game.

Even more surprising is the fact that at the beginning of 2015, the Cascades are a staple on the national rankings. Granted, they haven’t been able to crack the top 10, and sit near the bottom of the rankings, but for the Cascades, the only place they can go is up.

Both the Cascades men’s and women’s volleyball teams are in a tough spot in the second half of the season. They play only three of their 12 games in Abbotsford, which will make it extremely difficult for the Cascades to gain traction.

Head coaches Dennis Bokenfohr and Kyle Donen have a tough road ahead of them. Winning games in any competitive university is hard, but having to play nine of those games on the road is a difficult task for any coach.

Anyone in major volleyball circles can take a look at the season Kyle Donen has coached with his Cascades team and see that he is a dark horse candidate for coach of the year. He has been one of the most impressive young minds in the PacWest, and looks poised to do even more damage in the second half of the season.

Both teams kick off the second half of their seasons this weekend against the Douglas College Royals.

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