This weekend’s basketball games at the University of the Fraser Valley’s Envision Athletic Centre mark the end of an era, as two pillars of the Cascades women’s program play their last Canada West regular season home games for the green and white.
Graduating fifth-year player Sarah Wierks will take her final bows for the UFV women’s team along with teammate Celeste Dyck.
The opponent for the occasion will be the Thompson Rivers WolfPack, and games run Friday (6 p.m.) and Saturday (5 p.m.) at the EAC.
Saturday will be Senior Night, with presentations to the grads between the women’s and men’s games.
Women’s basketball fifth-years Wierks and Dyck have been part of an unparalleled run of success since arriving on campus together in 2010.
Their rookie season, 2010-11, marked the first time the Cascades qualified for the Canada West Final Four, and they made a return trip each of the next three years, culminating in a conference silver medal and a CIS bronze medal in 2013-14.
For Wierks, who ranks second in conference scoring at 19.6 points per game, the last weekend of the regular season represents a chance to put the finishing touches on the greatest rebounding season in Canada West history.
The six-foot-two centre out of Chilliwack secondary school has already set single-game conference records for offensive rebounds (12), defensive rebounds (20) and total rebounds (31) this year, and has moved into second place on the all-time Canada West list with 1,027 total boards to date.
She’s in range of three more prestigious records.
It’s likely that she’ll set a new mark for rebounds in a season – she’s snared 285 boards thus far in 2014-15, just six shy of the record of 291 shared by Jodi Evans (Calgary, 1990-91) and Sarah Crooks (Saskatchewan, 2006-07).
And if she can maintain her CIS-leading rebounding average of 15.8 per game, she’ll shatter Evans’s mark of 14.5 (also established in 1990-91).
Crooks holds the mark for double-doubles in a season with 18 (2006-07), but Wierks is at 16 and has a chance to tie her with two more vs. TRU.
(It’s worth noting that teams played 22 games in 2006-07, rather than the current 20).
Whereas Wierks started and starred from day one at UFV, point guard Dyck’s career followed a different path.
A relatively unheralded recruit out of Abbotsford’s Yale Secondary, Dyck had to work her way into the rotation, and she succeeded in that respect while establishing herself as a key backup and energetic presence in the locker room.
With the graduation of star point guard Aieisha Luyken following the 2013-14 campaign, Dyck took over the starting job this season and has put up impressive numbers. She’s fourth on the team in scoring at 11.0 points per game while shooting an extremely efficient 48.9 per cent from the field, sixth-best in Canada West.
She also ranks sixth in the conference in assists, averaging 4.0 per game.