UFV hoopsters split with Dinos

Chilliwack's Sarah Wierks is rounding into form and dominated an exhibition match against the University of Calgary.

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.”