QUARTER-FINAL #3: CIS championship: No. 3 Bisons roll over Blues
Courtesy of University of Alberta sports information
EDMONTON (CIS) – The No. 3-seeded Manitoba Bisons shook off the opening match nerves just in time to defeat the No. 6 Toronto Varsity Blues in straight sets, 25-21, 25-20 and 25-19, in the third quarter-final of the 2010 CIS women’s volleyball championship at the University of Alberta, Friday evening.
Championship website (live webcasts): http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wvball
With the win, Manitoba joins No. 1 UBC and No. 5 Laval in
Saturday’s semifinals, marking the ninth straight season that
at least two Canada West teams advance to the Final Four at the CIS
tournament. It has also been nine years since an OUA squad won a
first-round match-up at the Nationals, dating back to a five set
win by Toronto over Calgary in 2001.
Tricia Mayba, a third-year middle from Winnipeg, led the Bison attack with 12 kills, while first-team all-Canadian Ashley Voth, a member of Canada’s national team and also from the Manitoba capital, chipped in with nine kills. Middle Amy Penner and setter Sam Loewen, originally from East St. Paul, Man., added two aces apiece, as the Bisons spun five in total on Toronto, who struggled on receptions.
First-team all-Canadian Heather Bansley, the OUA player of the year, paced the Varsity Blues with a match-high 13 kills, while also adding 10 digs. The Waterdown, Ont., Native led CIS this season in kills per set and aces, and was a force all-night.
Manitoba used a .480 attack percentage in the final frame to close out Toronto.
“Emotionally, I thought we were pretty jumpy in that game, and a big part of this tournament, is overcoming that and finding a way to find games despite it not being your best day,” stated Ken Bentley, Manitoba’s 24-year head coach and a two-time CIS coach of the year.
“We passed the ball real well in that third set, and I think we have two of the best middle players in the country, especially Tricia,” Bentley continued. “If we can get the ball to the net, with her and 6’3” Sam Loewen, we stand a good chance at getting the point.”
In their first head-to-head meeting on the national stage since 1999, Manitoba had a few hiccups against a stubborn Varsity Blues team. Toronto and Manitoba were making their return to the CIS championship after five- and two-year absences, respectively.
Manitoba now holds a 5-0 record over Toronto at the national championship, including four straight-set wins and a 3-1 victory.
The first set featured six lead changes as both teams struggled to hold on to momentum. The Blues opened up with a 4-1 lead, but, soon enough the Bisons had earned a 6-5 advantage, only to have Toronto back in front at the first technical timeout 8-7.
Manitoba jumped ahead for good at 20-19, winning the first set 25-21.
The Varsity Blues started with a 2-0 lead in the second, but it quickly evaporated, never to come back, as Manitoba managed to get back in front, and stay there, but only just, with leads of 5-4 and 11-10.
Toronto struggled mightily at the service line in the second set, committing six service errors, spotting the Bisons to an 18-14 lead, their largest of the second stanza at that point. The Blues got back to within three points at 23-20, but couldn’t overcome Manitoba’s defense, eventually losing 25-20 to fall behind two sets to none.
“We were doing some good things, but we missed a lot of serves, which was frustrating, and we just sort of lost our focus at key points,” said 21-year Toronto head coach Kristine Drakich. “It’s difficult, because we did a lot of good things; we played some good defense, but had some trouble with their right-side attack, and give Manitoba credit, they played well.”
In the third, the Bisons continued to hold lead, and flirt with blowing out the Blues, but Toronto just kept coming back.
After fighting back to earn a 10-10 tie, the Blues scored four straight, only to see Manitoba roll off a 4-0 run of their own, and re-take the lead. From there, the Bisons see-sawed their way to a win; picking up small runs the rest of the way, and closing it out at 25-19, and advancing themselves to Saturday’s semi-final against either No.2 Montreal or No.7, and host, Alberta.
“I think now that we’ve got this game out of the way, we’ll be better in the semi-final,” said Bentley. “We’ve got some kids that have won championships before, so we’re not unaccustomed to that environment, and I think that we’ll be prepared for any team that comes our way tomorrow.”
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)
Quarter-final #2: No. 5 Laval 3, No. 4 Regina 0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-19)
Quarter-final #3: No. 3 Manitoba 3, No. 6 Toronto 0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-19)
20:00 Quarter-final #4: No. 2 Montreal vs. No. 7 Alberta (SSN Canada webcast)
Saturday, March 6
13:00 Consolation #1: No. 8 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 4 Regina
14:30 Consolation #2: No. 6 Toronto vs. Loser quarter-final #4
18:30 Semi-final #1: No. 1 UBC vs. No. 5 Laval (SSN Canada webcast)
20:00 Semi-final #2: No. 3 Manitoba 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)