The UFV Cascades men’s volleyball team added Nimo Benne (left) and Jonas Van Huizen for the 2021 season. (Submitted)

The UFV Cascades men’s volleyball team added Nimo Benne (left) and Jonas Van Huizen for the 2021 season. (Submitted)

Langley’s Van Huizen, Netherlands native Benne signed by UFV Cascades

Men’s volleyball team picks up two strong pieces to prepare for 2021 Canada West season

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team scooped up a pair of touted players, signing Netherlands native Nimo Benne and Langley’s Jonas Van Huizen for the 2021 season.

Benne, a 6’8” outside hitter, transfers to UFV from Thompson Rivers University, where he earned Canada West rookie of the year honours in 2019-20. Van Huizen, a 6’3” setter, was one of B.C.’s top-rated prospects in the Class of 2020 out of Langley Christian Secondary.

“I couldn’t be more happy that Nimo and Jonas have chosen UFV,” Cascades head coach Nathan Bennett stated in a press release. “This sets the foundation of our program for many years to come.”

Van Huizen’s prep career saw him recognized as the No. 2-ranked graduating senior in B.C. in the Class of 2020, per VarsityLetters.ca’s annual coaches’ poll to determine the province’s top 15 prospects. The Cascades now have two players from the upper echelon of that list, with Van Huizen joining No. 4 prospect Tyson Ardell out of Abbotsford’s MEI.

RELATED: MEI’s Ardell signs with UFV Cascades

“We’re just ecstatic to have him,” Bennett said of Van Huizen, who had originally committed to Thompson Rivers before changing course and choosing the Cascades. “He’s a special athlete, and he has a very high ceiling when it comes to the setting position. He adds a competitive nature to our program, and a high volleyball IQ. We’re pleased to continue to build with local talent, and we’re happy that Jonas has chosen us as we build our competitive environment.”

Van Huizen’s high school tenure saw him lead the LCS Lightning to a silver medal at the B.C. AA championships in 2019. He earned back-to-back first team all-star nods at provincials in 2018 and 2019, and added MVP honours at the Eastern Valley championships last fall.

On the club scene, Van Huizen picked up U18 first team provincial all-star honours with the Fraser Valley Volleyball Club, and he joined forces with Ardell to help Team BC win gold at the Canada Cup in Halifax in 2019.

Benne’s university volleyball debut in Canada last season was a smash hit, and netted him several accolades. In addition to his Canada West rookie of the year nod, he also earned selection to the CW and U Sports all-rookie teams.

Benne finished fourth in the CW for kills with 265. He also ranked among the conference leaders in kills per set (3.23, ninth), total digs (131, ninth), digs per set (1.60, 12th) and in hitting percentage (.254, 12th).

Benne represented the Netherlands at the U20 European Championships in 2018, helping the squad to a fourth-place finish, and his club side, Talent Team Papendal-Arnhem, finished fifth in the nation’s top league. He plans to major in computing science at UFV.

“For us, it’s a game-changer,” Bennett said, reflecting on Benne’s signing. “It shows a lot of trust on Nimo’s side to come here and see what we’re doing, and understand this is a good spot for him to grow as an athlete and a student. He did a great job last season at Thompson Rivers University, and we’re excited to add a player of his pedigree in our quest to be a contending program in Canada West.”

For more, visit gocascades.ca.

abbotsfordUFV CascadesVolleyball

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Flip City’s Elise Van Harmelen at the 2017 Langley Invitational at the Langley Events Centre. Flip City is one of 11 local sports groups getting COVID relief funding. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley sports clubs get COVID relief funding

The province is giving cash to groups hit hard by shutdowns

The first tree – a Sitka spruce – in the second phase of Fort Langley’s Memory Grove was planted on the morning of Thursday, Jan. 21. (Kurt Alberts/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Second phase of Memory Grove planted at Fort Langley

The first trees started going into the ground on Thursday, Jan. 21

B.C. MInisterial Order 425 and the list of permitted exemptions to wearing face masks in retail businesses and other public spaces. (B.C. Government website)
LETTER: Langley newspaper criticized for doing story on maskless encounter

Local letter writer shares opinion on video of unmasked man in grocery store

Two schools in the Langley School District have reported COVID-19 exposures. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)
Two Langley schools added to COVID-19 exposure list

Public Health will only contact those who were exposed

Jessica Simpson speaking to Langley Township council as a delegate in 2019. (Township of Langley/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Health privacy breach claimed by controversial Langley woman

Jessica Simpson is suing Fraser Health over an alleged breach in her health info

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

Most Read