Chilliwack’s Deanna Tuchscherer will be a key player for the UFV Cascades women’s basketball team this season. (UFV Cascades photo)

Chilliwack’s Deanna Tuchscherer will be a key player for the UFV Cascades women’s basketball team this season. (UFV Cascades photo)

UFV Cascades women’s basketball team ranked second in coaches preseason poll

Canada West coaches have Cascades ranked at number two, men ranked at 12

Canada West coaches seem to be high on the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades women’s basketball team.

The CW’s preseason coaches poll has the Cascades ranked second in the conference and rank behind only the Saskatchewan Huskies.

The 2021-22 season saw the Cascades fall in the quarterfinal round, but the team had a strong regular season with a record of 15-3. All of the team’s top players are returning and have one more year of experience.

UFV will be leaning heavily on star players Deanna Tuchscherer, Maddy Gobeil and Julia Tuchscherer. Deanna led the Cascades last season in points per game (16.8), rebounds per game (7.5) and blocks. Gobeil has developed into a key player for the team and averaged 16.3 ppg, seven rpg and was second on the team in assists. Deanna and Gobeil were named to the first and third CW all-star teams respectively last year.

RELATED: UFV Cascades women’s basketball team captures division crown

Julia (8.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg and .529 field goal percentage) was named the the CW all-rookie team last season. Forward Natalie Rathler (8.5 ppg and 4.4 rpg) and guard Nikki Cabuco (8.2 ppg and team leader in assists) are also important pieces.

The team has also added guard Bernie Leda out of Vancouver and Port Coquitlam’s Lauren Clements.

The women open on the road in Edmonton against the MacEwan Griffins on Friday (Nov. 4). The two teams meet again on Saturday (Nov. 5). The home opener for the team is set for Friday (Nov. 11) against the Manitoba Bisons.

Coaches weren’t as high on the Cascades men, who placed 12th out of 17 in the preseason poll.

The club finished 9-9 in 2021-22 and lost in the CW play-in game. Guard Dylan Kinley (9.9 ppg and 5.6 rpg) is the top returning scorer and forward Dario Lopez (7.9 ppg and 5.6 rpg) is another key returning piece. New additions include Abbotsford’s Dhivaan Bhogal, Las Vegas product Chris Jackson and Texas guard Courtney Anderson.

The men open in Edmonton against the Griffins on Friday and Saturday and then host the Bisons to open the season on Nov. 11.

RELATED: UFV Cascades basketball home opener set for Nov. 11

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