The UFV women's volleyball team celebrated after winning the CCAA national championship on Saturday evening. It was the first national title in program history.

The UFV women's volleyball team celebrated after winning the CCAA national championship on Saturday evening. It was the first national title in program history.

Updated: UFV women’s volleyballers win national title

The Cascades dominated in the finals of the CCAA championship tourney, beating the host Lakeland Rustlers in three sets.



The glow of winning a national championship was still fresh for the University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team when they set their sights on a new goal – one that might be even tougher to attain.

With the program’s first-ever Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) title secured, thanks to a clinical three-set win over the host Lakeland Rustlers on Saturday evening in Lloydminster, Alta., the giddy Cascades players were determined to draw some deep emotion out of head coach Dennis Bokenfohr.

Specifically, they wanted him to cry.

“I think they’re going to try to get a heartfelt speech out of me,” Bokenfohr said with a chuckle via cellphone, as the Cascades drove back to their team hotel to continue a celebration that began at the Lakeland gymnasium.

“But I’m staying strong. They’re trying to make me cry – it’s not going to work.”

Whether or not the players ended up inducing the waterworks from their usually stoic bench boss, the night was, without a doubt, an unqualified success.

Facing a sixth-seeded Lakeland squad which had ridden the adrenaline of its home crowd all the way to the final, the top-ranked Cascades wasted little time draining any suspense from the proceedings.

UFV dominated the first two sets by scores of 25-12 and 25-10, then sealed the title with a 25-20 triumph in the third.

National player of the year Kayla Bruce paced the offence with 11 kills, while Krista Hogewoning and Katie Bilodeau had eight kills apiece and Jenna Evans chipped in with seven kills and three aces. Libero Brittany Stewart notched a team-high 11 digs, while setter Kira Tome picked up player of the game honours.

Evans, a fourth-year outside hitter out of Abbotsford’s St. John Brebeuf Regional Secondary, was selected MVP of the national tourney. Bruce and Stewart were named to the first all-star team and Bilodeau to the second team.

“We came out with a pretty good game plan,” noted Bokenfohr, whose team beat the Mount Saint Vincent University Mystics and the Cégep Garneau Elans en route to the final. “The girls knew what to do, it was just a matter of execution.”

Bruce said it would take a while for the thrill of winning a national title to fully sink in.

“That was my last game as a fifth year (player), and we won a national championship,” she marvelled. “It’s really exciting, and I’m going to remember it for a really long time.”

The Lakeland gym was packed with over 1,000 fans cheering on the home side, and Bokenfohr said the buzz in the building was “outstanding.”

“It was just a fun atmosphere to play in, and our girls relished it,” he said. “They had smiles on their faces right from the time they stepped into the gym, and they built off it.”

BEARCATS FINISH EIGHTH

The tournament was a learning experience for the Columbia Bible College women’s volleyballers.

The Bearcats, making their debut at nationals, lost all three games and finished eighth. They wrapped up their run with a five-set defeat (25-22, 17-25, 14-25, 25-23, 15-12) to Mount Saint Vincent in the seventh/eighth placing game on Saturday afternoon.

Sadie Ball (15 kills) and April Van Wieren (14 kills) had big games offensively, while Sharaya Schulte racked up 26 digs.

“Like any program, the first time you get on the big stage, you get a little bit of the deer-in-headlights going on that first day,” CBC coach Duncan Harrison noted.

“The competition was excellent, and I was really proud of our kids. I thought they played extremely well, and represented our conference and our school and our city really well. I’m really proud of what we’ve done, and it’s something we can build off of.”

Just Posted

Brandon Hobbs (turquoise shirt), brother of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs, gathers with other family and friends to distribute posters in Chilliwack on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Search efforts expand to Chilliwack and beyond for missing Abbotsford man

Family, friends put up posters in Chilliwack, Agassiz, Hope for missing 22-year-old Adam Hobbs

Pig races at the 147th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 10, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack Fair plans in-person event for 149th annual exhibition

Will be first large-scale, in-person event in over a year, provided regulations continue as planned

Vivian Le is one of two local recipients of a Beedie Luminaries scholarship.
Chilliwack students overcome adversity to win Beedie Luminaries scholarships

Sardis secondary’s Vivian Le and G.W. Graham’s Alisa Gusakova are among 112 students receiving money

Crews work on the construction of Stitó:s Lá:lém Totí:lt near the Vedder River on Thursday, April 1, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack School District shuffling catchment areas as Stitó:s Lá:lém totí:lt construction continues

SD33 is looking for public input about proposed catchment and feeder school options

A CH-149 Cormorant from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron out of CFB Comox on a training exercise in Chilliwack on June 16, 2021. (William Snow photo)
VIDEO: Military search and rescue training in Chilliwack Wednesday

CH-149 Cormorant and CC-115 Buffalo from CFB Comox participated in downed aircraft rescue simulation

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth and Attorney General David Eby attend opening of the first government-run B.C. Cannabis Store, Kamloops, Oct. 19, 2018. (B.C. government)
B.C. government to allow home cannabis delivery starting July 15

Added convenience expected to persuade buyers to ‘go legal’

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

Most Read