CJ Pentland, CapU Sports Information Director
The Capilano University Blues men’s volleyball team made considerable steps forward during the 2017-18 PACWEST campaign. CapU tied a program record for wins in a season with 19, was ranked in the CCAA top 10 all season – reaching as high as #5 – and saw third-year setter Simon Friesen earn National Player of the Year honours. Yet CapU fell shy of a medal at the PACWEST Championships and finished the season in fourth place – adding motivation for the upcoming year.
Capilano University welcomes Dave Dooley as the new head coach for 2018-19, taking over for the reigning PACWEST Coach of the Year, Emmanuel Denguessi, who moved away from coaching to focus on his family and career. With his extensive connections in the BC volleyball community, Dooley will bring in a crop of young talent that will complement Capilano’s core of returners, and help the team towards their goal of qualifying for Nationals and bringing a medal back to the North Shore.
“I'm extremely excited about our recruiting class for the upcoming 2018-2019 season,” said Dooley. “I've had the pleasure of coaching against these athletes for the past three years at the club level, and have watched them grow into fine young men. I'm thrilled to now have them on the Blues’ side of the net.”
|Markus Bratsberg and Adam Kartusch after winning the 2018 high school beach championships.|
Two of the new players have already had an impact in the North Shore volleyball community. Markus Bratsberg and Adam Kartusch both head to Capilano via Argyle Secondary, which in 2017 became the first North Shore public school to field a senior boys’ volleyball team since the 1990s. Largely thanks to those two, the Pipers made up for lost time – winning the Lower Mainland championship and then finishing 8th at the AAA Provincials. Bratsberg was named Tournament MVP at the Lower Mainlands and an all-star at Provincials, while Kartusch was named an all-star at the Lower Mainlands.
The duo have also found success in the local beach scene, as in early June they teamed up to claim gold at the high school beach volleyball championships.
Bratsberg played his club volleyball for Seaside in White Rock under Dooley – winning U18 national silver provincial gold in 2018, as well as U16 provincial gold in 2016. A 6’0” left side, he’s also a three-time beach champion, three-time provincial all-star, and a two-time national all-star. In December 2017, Bratsberg was named to Varsity Letters’ Super 15 list of the top BC senior boys volleyball players, as determined by U Sports coaches.
“I chose Capilano University because it had everything I was looking for from an academic standpoint to athletics,” said Bratsberg. “I’m looking forward to starting a new chapter of my life! Along with great friends and family to spend it with.”
For Kartusch, he played club for Air Attack in Richmond. A 5’10” setter and libero, he was also on the BC Summer Games beach volleyball team in 2016.
“I chose Capilano as I was very interested in the Human Kinetics program they offered, and the coaches and players on the volleyball team all seemed to share the same level on competitiveness as me, immediately made me very welcome, and are just great teammates and people in general,” he said. “I’m looking forward to spending countless hours in the gym, training and spending time with my new teammates and coaches.”
Three players with experience playing setter will be joining the Blues in 2018-19 to provide more depth behind Friesen. A teammate of Kartusch’s with Air Attack, Kyle Buhrig will play both setter and outside hitter for CapU. Standing 6’2” and hailing from Elgin Park Secondary in South Surrey, Buhrig was a tier 2 provincial champion in 2018, a BC Summer Games champion in 2015, and a gold medal winner at the 2014 provincials.
“The atmosphere when practicing is like no other,” said Buhrig about CapU. “Everyone is friendly and has a great attitude toward the game. [I’m looking forward to] connecting with the guys on the team.”
Ty Baskin comes to North Vancouver from Kelowna, where he played for Rutland Senior Secondary and the Kelowna Volleyball Club. Standing 6’3”, he played for the U16 Team BC in 2016 and finished 5th at the National Team Challenge Cup, and the year prior was an alternate for the team as a U15. In grade 11, he was team MVP for the senior boys’ team at Rutland.
|Kyle Monaghan and Jensen Yuen alongside head coach Dave Dooley.|
“The whole team and experience from my visit at Capilano was amazing,” said Baskin. “As well as getting to play under the CCAA Player of the Year [Simon Friesen] to learn from the best. I’m looking forward to a new experience, moving away from home into a new family and lifestyle that will push me to become the best version of myself.”
Jenson Yuen will also provide depth at both setter and libero. A graduate of David Thompson Secondary in Vancouver, he also played for the Fraser Valley Volleyball Club – helping them to a bronze medal at the 2018 Canadian Nationals and a silver at Provincials.
“I was familiar with a lot of the guys on the squad, and they told me about the high quality features and valuable experiences from their time at Cap,” said Yuen. “I'm mostly looking forward to meeting new people and getting to know my teammates.”
Another key member of that medal-winning FVVC team is Kyle Monaghan. A 5’10” right side, he attended Windermere Secondary in Vancouver.
“I chose Capilano because I love the atmosphere of the University, and also the people who are attending the school are always nice to me whenever I visit,” he said. “I am most looking forward to continuing my education as well as being able to make better relationships with my new teammates.”
The six additions already have their eyes set on the 2018-19 campaign, which kicks off in October. The PACWEST Championships will be hosted by the College of the Rockies in Cranbrook, and the CCAA Nationals are at Red Deer College in Alberta.