The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team rallied to split a pair of preseason games against the Calgary Dinos last week.
Playing on their home court, the Envision Athletic Centre, the new-look Cascades suffered a 58-48 loss in Thursday’s opener. With six players having departed from last year’s CIS bronze medal-winning roster, including starters like Aieisha Luyken, Nicole Wierks and Kayli Sartori, UFV struggled to find chemistry in the first half and trailed 30-16 at the break.
Head coach Al Tuchscherer’s charges played much better in the second half, drawing within two points of the Dinos early in the fourth quarter. But Calgary responded with a 7-0 run to put the game away. Shayna Litman led UFV with 10 points, while Sarah Wierks had eight points and 14 rebounds.
Sarah Wierks was the difference in Friday’s rematch – the fifth-year centre was dominant, racking up 19 points and 16 boards in a 61-54 victory.
Three other Cascades also scored in double digits – Kaitlyn Brink (13), Shayna Litman (12), and Nataliia Gavryliuk (10) – while Kristie Sheils paced the Dinos with 19 points.
“We had a much more determined start for our second game,” Tuchscherer said. “The approach right from warm-up was different tonight and that carried through the first quarter as we were able to gain some confidence in our game with some quality defensive stops.”