CONSOLATION FINAL: CIS championship: Cougars roll over Toronto, finish fifth
Courtesy of University of Alberta sports information
EDMONTON (CIS) – The No. 4-seeded Regina Cougars closed out their 2010 CIS women’s volleyball championship showing with a fifth-place finish thanks to a straight sets victory (25-22, 25-23, 25-17) over the No. 6 Toronto Varsity Blues in the consolation final, Sunday afternoon at the UofA’s Main Gym.
Championship website (live webcasts): http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wvball
Third-year outside hitter Meagan Onstad, from Weyburn, Sask., led the Cougar attack with 12 kills, while second-team all-Canadian Beth Clark of Regina added 10 kills in her final CIS match. Fellow fifth-year athlete Meagan Smith recorded 10 kills, and five digs to earn player of the match honours for the winning side.
The Cougars were making their third-ever appearance at the national tournament. They had finished fourth in 1990 and tied for seventh in 2000.
“You can’t say enough about our fifth-year kids, they’ve done such a good job leading this group all year, and of course you want to do as well as you can for them,” said eight-year Regina head coach Melanie Sanford.
“After we lost that quarter-final, we changed our mindset to start thinking that the best we can do is fifth, and that’s what we’re going to accomplish. Once we did that, we all came together on the same page and were able to put together the performances we needed,” added Clark.
OUA player of the year Heather Bansley, also in her final CIS match, was strong for the Varsity Blues as the Waterdown, Ont. native banked 12 kills and 10 digs in the consolation final. Michelle Wood, the OUA libero of the year, Kristina Valjas and Kathleen Manhannah all wrapped up their varsity careers Sunday as well.
Despite losing in three straight, Toronto held leads for long periods in both the opening and second set, but had troubles closing out for the win.
In first set Toronto led 5-4, and 14-10, but saw their advantage slowly disappear as Regina made adjustments. The Cougars gained the upper hand at 22-21, and never looked back, winning 25-22.
The Blues then rebounded to earn a 5-2 advantage to start the second, and held their ground until 20-19 when Regina’s patience paid-off for a 25-23 second set win.
The loss was debilitating for Ontario champions, but gave Regina, the Canada West bronze medalists this year, the jump they needed to string together a dominant third set. The Cougars led right from the get-go in the final frame, including 8-3 and 16-7 at the technical timeouts. By the time the score reached 20-13, it was purely a matter of time for a fifth-place finish for the Canada West contenders.
“I think they’re happy, but of course you want to playing in a different match today. I think in spite of that, we came back and did what we needed to do. I can’t believe I’m as happy as I am about a fifth-place finish, but we wanted to finish as high as we could, because that was important to us as a team, and to our conference. When you look back on this tournament, four of the top five teams will be Canada West teams, and that’s important,” finished Sanford.
NOTES: This is the first time the two teams have ever met at the national championship.
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)
Quarter-final #4: No. 7 Alberta 3, No. 2 Montreal 0 (25-20, 25-18, 27-25)
Saturday, March 6
Consolation #1: Regina 3, Saint Mary’s 0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-9)
Consolation #2: Toronto 3, Montreal 2 (26-24, 25-22, 24-26, 22-25, 16-14)
Semifinal #1: UBC 3, Laval 0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-17)
Semifinal #2: Manitoba 3, Alberta 1 (25-6, 25-17, 21-25, 27-25)
Sunday, March 7
Consolation final: Regina 3, Toronto 0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-17)
15:00 Bronze medal: Laval vs. Alberta (SSN Canada webcast)
18:00 Championship final: UBC vs. Manitoba (SSN Canada webcast)