Cascade women stumble on road

The University of the Fraser Valley women's basketball team lost twice on a weekend trip to Alberta and Saskatchewan.

A rough weekend saw the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team lose their first games of the 2013-14 season.

The Cascades were on the road Friday night, visiting Edmonton for a date with the University of Alberta Pandas.

The fourth-ranked Pandas rode deadly three-point shooting to a decisive 73-61 win. The Pandas hit on seven of 16 shots from beyond the arc, with guard Renee Byrne doing most of the damage.

In 29 minutes, Byrne drained four treys and finished with a game-high 17 points. She dished out four assists as well.

The Pandas out-rebounded UFV 43-29, with Andria Carlyon  pulling down 11 boards.

The cold-shooting Cascades shot 37.5 per cent from the field. Chilliwack’s Kayli Sartori paced UFV with 14 points on 4-of-11 shooting.

The Wierks sisters, Nicole and Sarah, combined for nine points between them, with Nicole snagging a team-high six rebounds.

Courtney Bartel did well in 20 minutes off the bench, pulling down five boards and adding four points.

“A lot of lessons tonight against an elite level team,” said Cascades coach Al Tuchscherer. “We are not at the level these teams are at and that’s my fault – we have the tools we just need to start putting the puzzle together.”

His Cascades moved on to Saskatchewn for a Sunday night date with another top dog, the Huskies.

The home team built a 12 point halftime lead and cruised to a 77-57 final.

Ukrainian import Natalia Gavryliuk was the only UFV player to hit double digits in scoring (12 points). UFV’s starting five scored just 33 points between them.

Sartori went 2-of-12 from the field.

Mission’s Aieisha Luken was 3-of-12 and Sarah Wierks was 2-of-8, though she did lead the team in rebounds with six.

The Cascades come out of the weekend 6-2, which leaves them tied with the UBC Thunderbirds atop the Canada West Pacific division standings.

The two teams clash Friday night at the Envision Athletic Centre in Abbotsford. Tip-off is 3 p.m.

They meet again Saturday afternoon with a 2 p.m. start time.