Freeman and Bruce named 2013 UFV Cascades Athletes of the Year

UFV had an excellent year on the courts, in the field and water

UFV Cascades 2012-13 Varsity Banquet Magazine

Abbotsford, BC…Rocky Olfert, Director of Athletics is pleased to announce Kayla Bruce, women’s volleyball and Sam Freeman, men’s basketball, are the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades Athletes of the Year.  Mr. Olfert is also pleased to announce Justin Sekhon, men’s soccer and Kira Tome, women’s volleyball, are the UFV Cascades 2013 “Rookies of the Year.” 

 Bruce, a fifth year middle from Surrey, BC had a brilliant year winning every possible award available.  The two-time UFV Cascade Athletic of the Year was named a PACWEST first team all-star, PACWEST Female Volleyball Player of the Year, PACWEST Championship Most Valuable Player, PACWEST Female Athlete of the Year, CCAA first team All-Canadian, CCAA Female Volleyball Player of the Year and CCAA National Championship tournament all-star. 

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Freeman, a fifth year guard from Coquitlam, BC carried the team on his back though the winter months when last year’s Cascades Athlete of the Year, Kyle Grewal was out with injury and led UFV in scoring with an amazing 21 points per game.  Freeman was selected first team Canada West all-star and also was honored as a tournament all-star at UFV’s Honda Way Classic in October, 2012.

Bruce and Freeman were just two of 12 UFV student-athletes to receive PACWEST or Canada West all-star selections in 2012-13.  The Cascades, who sport 140 student-athletes, earned post season berths in men’s and women’s basketball, women’s soccer at the Canada West level and women’s and men’s volleyball and men’s golf at the PACWEST level. Three Cascades teams earned berths at their respective national championships, with women’s basketball finishing tied for 7th place with Carleton University, at the CIS “Final 8” national championship in Regina, Saskatchewan, the men’s golf team finished 8th at the CCAA national championship in Oshawa, Ontario and the women’s volleyball team won the CCAA national title in Lloydminster, Alberta.  Both men’s golf and  women’s volleyball won the PACWEST Championship this year and women’s basketball earned their first Canada West medal, bronze, with a 68-57 victory over the University of Alberta, at Calgary.   

 The Cascades teams broke numerous school records this year led by women’s basketball posting a 21-8 regular and post season CIS record, good for an 82 win percentage.  The women’s volleyball program finished with an incredible 27-2 record good for a 93 win percentage, falling one win short of tying VIU Mariners’ amazing 28-1 CCAA record in 2011-12. Other teams that re wrote the school record books included men’s soccer with a 5-5-4 record for 19 team points, the Cascades missed their first Canada West post season by one point and posted their first CIS winning record since joining the league seven years ago.  The men’s and women’s rowing program had their highest finish at the Canadian University Rowing Championships with the women placing 8th with 34 points and men 9th with 39 team points. 

 Under the leadership of Olfert, who came to UFV with a wealth of experience at Trinity Western University and the Columbia Bible College, the Cascades are posed to continue to move up the ladder in the 9 sports they participate in.  “I feel very thankful for the opportunity to work at a great place like UFV.  It’s provided me with a new challenge that I am really excited about, and to work alongside great UFV staff and student-athletes doing what I love is all anyone can ask for,” commented Olfert. . 

 2012-13 UFV Cascades Major Award Recipients

 Male Athlete of the Year:
Sam Freeman, Men’s Basketball

 The fifth year senior from Coquitlam, BC led UFV in scoring with 466 points for a 21.2 points per game average.  The guard was selected a first team Canada West all-star and led UFV in scoring 13 out of the 24 conference regular season games.  Freeman broke the UFV regular season single game scoring mark when he registered 41 points against the University of British Columbia-Okanagan, previous mark as 35 points by Kyle Grewal at the CIS “Final 8” in Halifax, Nova Scotia.   Freeman was first in Canada West with 63 three point baskets for a 3.2 per game average and fourth overall in minutes played with 673, for a 33.7 game average. 

 “I am very proud of Sam’s accomplishments this year.  He was a true veteran leader on our team and helped me with the transition from assistant coach to head coach,” commented UFV head coach Adam Friesen. The Cascades finished the Canada West regular season 10-14 and defeated the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, 2 games to 1, to earn a berth in the conference “Final 4” tournament a second straight year.

 Female Athlete of the Year:

Kayla Bruce, Women’s Volleyball

Bruce, has been named the Cascades Female Athlete of the Year for a second straight year .  The veteran led UFV and the conference in total offense with 393 points for a 4.57 average. Bruce was also first in blocks with 88 (1.02 average) and third in kills with 280 (a 3.26 average). “What an honor for Kayla to be named the Cascades female Athlete of the Year.  I could not be happier for her.  In a year where there were a lot of deserving athletes it is very flattering for the committee to vote her as the recipient. This is everything to do with her compete level. Many athletes have moments of greatness. It is Kayla’s consistency that separates her from the rest. Well done!” said UFV head coach Dennis Bokenfohr. Bruce was named the CCAA and PACWEST Female Volleyball Player of the Year and a CCAA First Team All-Canadian for a second straight year.

The 2012-13 Cascades women’s volleyball team finished the PACWEST regular and post season an amazing 27-2 (22-2 regular season, 5-0 playoffs) and earned the school’s first regular and post season PACWEST Championship and went on to win the program’s first ever CCAA national championship.  UFV was ranked number one in the CCAA top ten poll, for 16 of the 20 weeks, the poll has been published this season. Bruce was named the PACWEST championship tournament “Most Valuable Player” and a CCAA championship tournament all-star.     

Male Rookie of the Year:
Justin Sekhon, Men’s Soccer 

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For the third straight year the Cascades men’s soccer program has the been awarded the UFV Male Rookie of the Year award.  Justin Sekhon, a first year midfielder, from Abbotsford, BC, scored 3 goals and added 2 assists in his inaugural CIS regular season.  He helped UFV to its best Canada West regular season finish at 5-5-4, missing the post season by one point, in the seven years affiliated with the conference.   Justin started  13 regular season matches and was second on the team with 33 shots on goal. He received the team “Rookie of the Year” award for his play at midfield. 

“Justin had a great rookie campaign for us.  We look to him to be the leader in the middle of the field for years to come,” commented UFV head coach Alan Errington. 

Female Rookie of the Year:
Kira Tome, Women’s Volleyball

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Tome, a first year setter from Surrey, BC was selected the 2013 PACWEST Female Volleyball Rookie of the Year.  Tome helped UFV win the 2013 CCAA national championship while posting a 27-2 record.  Kira was also named to the PACWEST All-Rookie team and to the PACWEST Championship tournament all-star team.  She finished 9th in digs, in the PACWEST top ten statistics category, with 188 for a 2.61 average. 

“I am very proud of Kira, she fit well into our team system this year and had a great first post-secondary season,” said Bokenfohr.

Outstanding Community Service Award
Alexa McCarthy, Women’s Basketball

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McCarthy is active in several community service initiatives and takes on a key leadership role in UFV athletics as a whole. She has battled through an unfathomable number of injuries over the years to become a significant contributor to the team in 2012-13. Through all of her adversity she has always lead the team in reaching out to the community.  McCarthy was awarded the CIS women’s basketball Sylvia Sweeney award for outstanding community service.

She has initiated, organized, and driven what has become a major UFV athletics community outreach initiative. The ‘Walk and Knock food bank drive’ is an event where UFV athletes walk the community on Halloween evening collecting food for the Abbotsford food bank. In recent years, McCarthy has been participating in the Fraser Valley’s chapter of the ’Operation Red Nose’ program and has led UFV’s CIS “Shoot for the Cure” drive at UFV. She is a three-time winner of the UFV athletics community service award and has thrice been recognized by the University of the Fraser Valley for her outstanding contribution and leadership with the community service she provides in our communities.

“Alexa has been a major contributor to UFV, the Athletics program and the Fraser Valley communities,” said Rocky Olfert, Fraser Valley Athletic Director. She has had a significant impact on the culture we are trying to create. Her efforts to continually put others before herself and model this as a student-athlete has been an inspiration to all of us.”  McCarthy becomes the second Cascade to earn the CIS Sylvia Sweeney award, Michelle Buhler was selected in 2007-08.

UFV Cascades Academic Award
Nicole Wierks, Women’s Basketball

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The award is presented to the student-athlete with the highest grade point average (GPA) in the department, with consideration to their participation, at minimum start of half the team’s games, performance on the court, and attitude on the team.  Wierks, a fourth year guard from Chilliwack, BC on the women’s basketball team led all UFV students with the highest GPA.  Wierks started 28 of the 29 regular and post season games as UFV posted a 21-8 overall record and winning the Pacific Division of Canada West and qualifying for the CIS “Final 8” national championship tournament in Regina, Saskatchewan.  Nicole average 12.0 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game.

2013 UFV Cascades Team Most Valuable Players

(Team) Most Valuable Player

M Basketball: Sam Freeman

W Basketball: Aieisha Luyken

M Soccer: Mark Village

W Soccer: Carly Neeson

M Golf: Aaron Pauls

M Volleyball: Trevor Nickel

W Volleyball: Kayla Bruce

M Rowing: Anthony Dayton

W Rowing:  Debra Neufeld


Individual Team Award

M Basketball: Most Inspirational: Kyle Grewal

W Basketball: Most Inspirational: Celeste Dyck

M Soccer: Rookie of the Year: Justin Sekhon

W Soccer: Rookie of the Year: Kara Delwo

M Volleyball: Rookie of the Year: Kurtis Stromdahl

W Volleyball: Most Inspirational: Brittany Stewart

M Golf: Rookie of the Year: Connor O’Dell

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