QUARTER-FINAL #1: CIS championship: No. 1 T-Birds sweep SMU, two wins away from 3-peat
EDMONTON (CIS) – The two-time defending gold medallist
University of British Columbia Thunderbirds kicked off the 2010 CIS
women’s volleyball championship in impressive fashion as they
swept the No. 8-seeded Saint Mary’s Huskies in straight sets
of 25-17, 25-17 and 25-13 in the first quarter-final of the
national tournament at the University of Alberta’s Main Gym,
Championship website (live webcasts): http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wvball
Top-seeded UBC dominated the stats sheet, racking up a team 37%
attack percentage to go with four aces, and 13 combined blocks.
Sophomore outside hitter Shanice Marcelle (Victoria) led the Canada West champions in kills with 12, while fifth-year Liz Cordonier (Vancouver), named CIS player of the year on Thursday night recorded nine kills, one ace, five digs and two solo blocks. First-team all-Canadian middle Jen Hinze, a fourth-year senior from Vancouver, was named UBC player of the match with nine kills, a 64% hitting percentage, and two digs.
The Birds did make eight service errors, but according to head coach Doug Reimer, they were mistakes that resulted in challenging the Huskies.
“The first two sets were close, but I liked that we were making errors of commission,” said Reimer, who was named CIS coach of the year for a record fifth time this season. “We were really going for it both serving and attacking so we might have missed a few too many but it was aggressive which is what you want.”
“Jen was good for us today,” Reimer continued. “She brought a very physical game offensively and they had to respect that. Liz set a great tone early in terms of her attacking and she made good reads all game at the net. They both brought a lot of aggression to their front row play.”
The Huskies were led by junior Kerri Smit of Shubenacadie, N.S., who finished with eight kills and a match-high 12 digs. Smit was named Saint Mary’s player of the match, while junior left side Alison Beaver had seven kills.
As a team, Saint Mary’s recorded just 23 kills, compared to UBC’s 47.
The Thunderbirds are looking to become the first team to three-peat since the Alberta Pandas won a record-tying six straight banners from 1995 to 2000. The Birds made quick work of the AUS champion Huskies, who are making their fourth appearance at the national championship in the last five years, by using superior blocking and sublime offence.
UBC opened the match with three straight points, two off blocks, before eventually picking up an 8-5 lead at the first technical timeout.
“I thought we were making really good reads in terms of blocking,” said Reimer.
Saint Mary’s clawed back to within one point, 10-9, but by the second technical timeout, the T-Birds were back out in front 16-11, and never looked back.
The Huskies continued to hang around in the second match, getting as far as tying the score at 9-9, but soon enough UBC was back out in front, by as many as seven, and closed it out with a 25-17 score.
The Thunderbirds put the Huskies out of commission quickly in third, opening up an 8-2 lead, and then jumping to 19-9, before closing out the match 25-13.
With the win, UBC advances to Saturday’s first semifinal to be played at 6:30 p.m. Mountain Time. The T-Birds will face either No. 4 Regina or No. 5 Laval.
The Huskies are relegated to Saturday’s consolation round and will square off against the losers of the Regina-Laval duel at 1 p.m.
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE & RESULTS (all times LOCAL: Mountain Time)
Friday, March 5
Quarter-final #1: No. 1 UBC 3, No. 8 Saint Mary’s 0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-13)
14:30 Quarter-final #2: No. 4 Regina vs. No. 5 Laval (SSN Canada webcast)
18:30 Quarter-final #3: No. 3 Manitoba vs. No. 6 Toronto (SSN Canada webcast)
20:00 Quarter-final #4: No. 2 Montreal vs. No. 7 Alberta (SSN Canada webcast)
Saturday, March 6
13:00 Consolation #1: Saint Mary’s vs. Loser quarter-final #2
14:30 Consolation #2: Loser quarter-final #3 vs. Loser quarter-final #4
18:30 Semi-final #1: UBC vs. Winner quarter-final #2 (SSN Canada webcast)
20:00 Semi-final #2: Winner quarter-final #3 vs. Winner quarter-final #4 (SSN Canada webcast)
Sunday, March 7
12:00 5th place
15:00 Bronze medal (SSN Canada webcast)
18:00 Championship final (SSN Canada webcast)