Muscling her way to the basket, Simon Fraser's Sophie Klassen, a Sardis Secondary grad, has enjoyed a confidence-building junior season atop Burnaby Mountain. (Photo by Paul Yates property of SFU athletics 2022. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Women's Basketball

The energy of Sophie Klassen: ACL surgery left Simon Fraser forward wondering if she had “…lost what makes me, me,” yet her crash-and-bang DNA impossible to miss!

BURNABY — Ask Sophie Klassen what was worse than the COVID-cancelled 2020-21 university basketball season, and she doesn’t hesitate to answer.“I tore my ACL last season, in September (of 2020), just a couple of weeks into practices,” Simon Fraser’s energetic 6-foot redshirt junior forward begins. “I got surgery in November, and I wasn’t completely sure […]

Simon Fraser rookie forward Gemma Cutler has held her own on the offensive glass with the elite of the GNAC this season. Here, she battles with Central Washington's fifth-year senior standout Kassidy Malcolm. (Photo by Paul Yates property of SFU athletics 2022. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Women's Basketball

Simon Fraser forward Gemma Cutler does it by the book, but the 6-foot-2 rookie from North Vancouver also writing her own chapters atop Burnaby Mountain!

BURNABY — When it comes to being a voracious student of the sport of basketball, you could say that Gemma Cutler wrote the book.Or perhaps, in the case of Simon Fraser’s ultra-inquisitive rookie forward, it’s more accurate to say she digested it in its entirety.That’s the idea you get when you ask SFU head coach […]

Kelowna's Sebastien Manuel (right) was a unanimous selection as B.C.'s top boys senior high school volleyball player in Varsity Letters' 13th annual coaches poll. (Photo courtesy KSS Athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Boys Volleyball University Men's Volleyball

Our 13th annual edition: Who are B.C.’s Top 15 Grade 12 boys volleyball players? Check out our 2021-22 Dream Team!

LANGLEY — Welcome to the 2021-22 edition of Varsity Letters annual B.C. Boys Top 15, our look at the top Grade 12 players in the province as voted on by our committee representing the five head coaches (UBC, TWU, UFV, UBC Okanagan, Thompson Rivers) of U Sports men’s volleyball programs in our province.A special thanks […]

Kelowna Owls' star outside hitter Sebastien Manuel, the unanimous choice as Varsity Letters' 2021-22 B.C. Boys High School Player of the Year, will stay home and begin his university career next season with the UBC Okanagan Heat. (Photo property of UBC Okanagan Heat athletics 2022. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Men's Basketball

Kelowna Owls’ Sebastien Manuel: B.C. Boys Volleyball 2021-22 Player of the Year brings a heart-and-soul love for the game to his hometown UBC Okanagan Heat!

KELOWNA — Let Sebastien Manuel tell you a volleyball story and before long you start to realize, from the conviction of his delivery, that he’s actually talking about what matters most to him in life.Is there a way to best describe him?How about the word ‘steeped’ as in “…to be surrounded by or filled with […]

Simon Fraser's Wilfried Balata (10) and Elliot Dimaculangan had plenty to celebrate Thursday after a rally from 22 points down carried SFU to a last-second win over the St. Martin's Saints. (Photo by Wilson Wong property of SFU athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Men's Basketball

After frigid start, Simon Fraser rallies from 22 points down to stun visiting St. Martin’s! Says point guard David Penney: “Now we know we have another gear we can get to!”

BURNABY — It wasn’t exactly a first half that you would put alongside the most inspiring in the history of Simon Fraser men’s basketball.In fact, it ebbed low enough about four minutes from halftime that the home team was staring a 22-point deficit straight in the eye Wednesday evening at the West Gym against the […]

Former Tamanawis Wildcat and Fraser Valley Cascade big man Sukhman Sandhu has brought a revelatory skill package to his first season as a UBC Thunderbird. Despite the stops and starts of the 2021-22 Canada West season, Sandhu and fellow UBC newcomer James Woods have helped set the 'Birds in place for a productive post season. (Photo by Richard Lam property of UBC athletics 2022. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Men's Basketball

As UBC Thunderbirds host UFV Cascades on Friday, the trick in a 2021-22 Canada West hoops season of stops and starts is finding a way to stay in rhythm with your routine!

VANCOUVER — You’re the head coach of a Canada West men’s or women’s basketball program, and as the most disjointed regular-season campaign in conference history does its best to wind towards an organized conclusion, one question seems to keeping topping all others in terms of relevancy.Between re-scheduled games and extended byes, what’s the best way […]

Mackenzie Pool (top, centre) elected to stay in Canada to play her university volleyball. The Alberta Pandas couldn't be happier. (Photo by Ken Pool for Varsity Letters 2022. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Girls Volleyball University Women's Volleyball

Our 13th annual edition: Who are B.C.’s Top 15 Grade 12 girls volleyball players? Check out our 2021-22 Dream Team!

LANGLEY — Pandemic or not, Varsity Letters has never failed to deliver what has become one of our most eagerly-anticipated features, and that’s why we’re happy to bring you our 13th straight edition of B.C.’s Top 15 high school volleyball players.Last year, even with the entire season cancelled due to COVID, our unflappable panel of […]

Back at Notre Dame and prepping for high school graduation this spring, Jugglers' standout Mackenzie Pool has prepped for a post-secondary and international career by spending the past two season's with Volleyball Canada's National Excellence Program. (Photo by Angela Rivera property of Notre Dame athletics 2022. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Girls Volleyball University Women's Volleyball

Notre Dame’s Mackenzie Pool: B.C. Girls Volleyball 2021-22 Player of the Year, a study in impassioned learning on & off court, makes Alberta Pandas her next stop!

VANCOUVER — Just as she’s done in laying the academic foundation for a potential future in law school, Mackenzie Pool has brought a student’s curiosity to everything she’s accomplished on the volleyball court as one of Canada’s up-and-coming young stars.And in keeping with that theme, it’s no stretch to say that on her way to […]

Trinity Western Spartans' point guard Mason Bourcier during his team's 93-84 exhibition win over the Calgary Dinos on Oct. 7 at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2022. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Men's Basketball

Mason Bourcier: With three triple-doubles over his past six games, Trinity Western’s well-travelled guard puts down his hoops roots at Langley Events Centre!

LANGLEY — Ask Mason Bourcier about the good times he is starting to have again on the basketball court, and he seems to first take a backwards glance into his own figurative rearview mirror before speaking.“I used to be that kid, who if you showed him a brick wall, he’d run right through it,” Trinity […]

After over 1,000 days since the program's official launch, Fraser Valley Cascades' men's and women's volleyball coaches Nathan Bennett (left) and Janelle Rozema preside over their respective team's home Canada West debuts this Friday against visiting Thompson Rivers. (Photo graphic by Dan Kinvig property of UFV Athletics 2022. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Men's Volleyball University Women's Volleyball

“It’s been an Everest of a task!” After 1,003 days of waiting, gritty UFV Cascades’ volleyball teams make their Canada West home debuts Friday!

ABBOTSFORD — More times than not, it’s felt like an impossible journey for the women’s and men’s volleyball players who populate the expansion rosters of the Fraser Valley Cascades.And we’re not espousing about anything here as grandiose as either program capturing a national title in their debut seasons in U SPORTS.No.All we’re talking about is […]