CJ Pentland, CapU Sports Information Director
With under a month to go until the PACWEST playoffs, the Capilano Blues basketball and volleyball teams exit from a bye week and head into a full slate of home games happening at the Sportsplex in North Vancouver this weekend.
The women’s basketball team kicks off the first of eight games on the weekend when they take on Squamish’s Quest University Kermodes on Thursday, January 26 at 6 p.m. The Blues head into the weekend with a perfect 10-0 record that puts them atop the conference standings, and they’re beating their opponents by an average of 29 points per game. The last time these two teams met, Capilano came away with a convincing 83-43 win over Quest, who now sits in fifth place at 4-6.
On Friday at 6 p.m., Capilano welcomes the Langara College Falcons (3-7, 6th place) to the North Shore for a rematch of their November 19 meeting which the Blues won 77-53.
Capilano players are all over the PACWEST women’s basketball leaderboard, with forward Carmelle M’Bikata topping the charts in points per game with 16.70 and point guard Ashley De La Cruz Yip leading the way in assists per contest with 5.70 – almost two more than the second-highest average. Sherrie Errico, Brittany Wertman, and Reiko Ohama also all sit in the top 10 in points per game with averages in double figures, while Wertman and Ohama also crack the top 10 for assists.
On the men’s side, the Blues look to remain at the top of a crowded leaderboard where they sit in a three-way tie for first place at 8-2. They start off the weekend against Quest at 8 p.m. on Thursday, a team that handed Capilano their first defeat of the season – an 84-72 decision on November 18 in Squamish. On Friday, another tough test visits North Van when Langara, one of the other teams at 8-2, comes into the Sportsplex and looks to avenge a 107-101 loss to the Blues on their home court back in November.
After taking the conference by storm in the first half of the season and jumping to the top of the leaderboard with big wins on the road against notable powerhouses Langara and Vancouver Island University, Capilano is now on the radar of all teams as a contender for the PACWEST crown. Forward Greet Gill has also emerged as one of the conference’s top all-around threats, as he’s the top rebounder with an average of 11.00 boards per game, in fourth place in scoring with 20.70 points per contest, and tied for sixth in assists with 2.70.
On Saturday and Sunday, the volleyball net goes up as the Blues welcome the College of the Rockies Avalanche for a two-game series at the Sportsplex.
Just four points back of first place at 11-5, the third-place women’s team hopes to continue their four-game win streak and keep pace with VIU and Douglas at the top of the standings. As for COTR, they are the defending PACWEST champs and sit in fourth place at 7-9. The two games are the first and only meeting between the teams this regular season.
The fifth-years continue to lead the way for the Blues on both offence and defence. Kira Sutcliffe, with the help of setter and captain Sarah Hughes, currently sits fourth in the conference in total offensive stats with an average of 3.95 per set, while Kelsi Boroevich ranks fifth in aces per set. Third-year Danae Shephard also averages 0.81 blocks per set, third-best in the league.
The men’s matchups pit two squads on the playoff bubble battling for positioning. Both Capilano and COTR post identical records of 6-10, and with this being their only meetings of the regular season, these two games will certainly decide postseason seeding.
First-year Jonathan Lee has emerged as one of the league’s best liberos, currently leading the PACWEST in digs with 215 overall and an average of 3.77 per set. Transfer Sam Khodr has also stormed onto the scene with his big serve, averaging nearly an ace per set (10 in 11 sets) to lead the conference.
All the PACWEST action gets going at the Sportsplex at Capilano University (2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver) on Thursday night and runs through until Sunday afternoon.
6 pm: WBB – Capilano vs Quest
8 pm: MBB – Capilano vs Quest
6 pm: WBB – Capilano vs Langara
8 pm: MBB – Capilano vs Langara
6 pm: WVB – Capilano vs College of the Rockies
8 pm: MVB – Capilano vs College of the Rockies
11:00 am: WVB – Capilano vs College of the Rockies
1:00 pm: MVB – Capilano vs College of the Rockies