This season was a weird one for the UFV Cascades volleyball squads. Sure, they struggled on the court at times, and yes, the men’s team nearly went winless, but if that’s true, why does the mood around the volleyball teams seem so positive? This could be for a few reasons, but it all starts with their respective seasons.
The men’s team had a rough go. They went 0-10 to start the season, losing every game and only registering five set matches twice on that streak. One might imagine that a winless squad wouldn’t feel too great, but UFV could be seen living it up on the side lines, cheering for teammates and always bringing a level of excitement to the games. If you didn’t know their record, you would think that the Cascades were defending champs just from the amount of passion and fun they brought to the game. The hometown fans in attendance at the Envision Financial Athletic Centre always seemed to appreciate that, as they showed up again and again to watch their team play.
The Cascades wound up registering two wins, both against the same team: their crosstown rivals, the Columbia Bible College Bearcats. Those wins were from five set matches, hard-fought and hard-earned. The vibe with this team was if they were going to win, they were going to earn it. They were two of the most profound wins across all sports at UFV. At 2-22, the Cascades didn’t accomplish what they wanted, but the wins they had were done in an exciting fashion, and the fans appreciated that.
The women’s team also struggled at times, but never to the same degree as the men’s team. Opening weekend, the women started out 0-2, which would turn out to not be indicative of their season. They actually had a great eight-game stretch in which they went 7-1 but closed out their last five games of the season going 2-3.
The Cascades went 14-11, which by all means constitutes a successful season. They did indeed get a shot at the playoffs, but on the opening day of the PACWEST quarter-finals they lost a very tough match with the Capilano Blues, who were the number five seed compared to UFV at number four, although the Cascades won their regular season matchups by a match score of 3-1. While this could have been viewed as a sad ending to a good season for the UFV team, it was arguably anything but. The future for the Cascades seems brighter than ever, and though team captain Kim Bauder finished her fifth year of eligibility, many other players stepped up.
UFV has submitted a bid to move it’s volleyball program into the next highest conference. With a possible switch to the Canada West conference on the horizon, it’s hard to tell whether or not the Cascades teams are ready for it. If you ask them, they’ll welcome the competition with open arms. Surely, the fans won’t mind. If they loved these teams in PACWEST, they’ll love them at the next level.
Image: Dan Kinvig/UFV Athletics