FINAL: CIS championship: UBC 3-peats, ties all-time record
Courtesy of University of Alberta sports
EDMONTON (CIS) – The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds made CIS women’s volleyball history Sunday evening when they defeated the Manitoba Bisons in four sets of 25-17, 19-25, 25-16 and 25-22 to become the fifth team to claim three straight national titles, and tie the all-time mark of seven CIS banners.
Championship website (complete stats): http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wvball
The T-Birds, who end the season with a perfect 27-0 overall
record versus CIS opponents, join Alberta and Winnipeg for most
titles in history, while Manitoba remains one behind with six.
Alberta (1995 to 2000) and Winnipeg (1983 to 1988) share the record
of six straight national championships, while Saskatchewan (1979 to
1981) and Manitoba (1990 to 1992) had also previously won three in
Sunday’s gold-medal match between top-seeded UBC and third-ranked Manitoba at the University of Alberta’s Main Gym marked the first-ever meeting in the national final between the two storied programs. It was also a rematch of last week’s Canada West final, won in five sets by the T-Birds.
“I think the play of our power hitters was a difference maker today, that was the best 1-2 punch we’ve had all weekend,” said UBC head coach Doug Reimer, who on Thursday was named CIS coach of the year for a record fifth time.
Fifth-year UBC outside hitter Liz Cordonier capped off a great career and a perfect season with tournament MVP honours, three days after being named the CIS player of the year. The Vancouver native had 13 kills and 10 digs in her final university outing.
“It’s the best way to wrap up a career ever,” beamed the Canadian national team member, who graduates with three CIS rings.
Shanice Marcelle, a sophomore outside hitter from Victoria, was named MVP of the championship final after she tallied a match-high 15 kills and finished with a superb .464 hitting percentage. Marcelle, who joined Cordonier on the tournament all-star team, added 11 digs, two aces and two block assists.
“It doesn’t come as a surprise to us, because she did that last year at the championship, and she’s been doing it all season long, game in and game out,” said Reimer. “Still though, it’s to her credit that she played as well as she did today after not playing as strong as she can in the two previous matches.”
Manitoba, which was returning to the gold-medal final for the first time since winning the second of back-to-back titles in 2002, was led by first-team all-Canadian Ashley Voth, who peppered the UBC defence for 13 kills, while also racking up 11 digs. She was also selected as a championship all-star.
“Obviously we’re very disappointed, especially since we feel we left some opportunities on the floor, and that’s what hurts,” said 24-year Manitoba coach Ken Bentley, who has led his troops to five national titles over the years.
After the Canada West rivals traded the initial few points of the opening set, the T-Birds grabbed a lead at 5-4 and never rescinded. Marcelle put UBC up 14-9, an advantage which quickly increased to 16-9 at the second technical timeout and then 20-14 before finally, 25-17 courtesy of a Cordonier kill.
Krisi Hunter led the Manitoba comeback in the second frame when she picked up a pair of aces to pace the Bisons to an early 8-5 lead. Fourth-year middle Amy Penner smacked the winning kill that made it 25-19, leaving the two sides knotted up at one set each.
Hunter, a third-year junior from Roblin, Man., picked up another ace in the third set as the Bisons staked out a 6-2 lead, which Tricia Mayba helped turn into an 8-5 edge at the first technical break.
However, the lead wouldn’t last as last year’s championship MVP, Kyla Richey of Roberts Creek, B.C., sparked a Thunderbird comeback. She banked a kill to make it 8-7, and then got together for a block to tie it up at 10.
Just as UBC earned a slim 13-10 lead, Manitoba starting libero Nicole Hall injured herself attempting a dig, sending the Bisons further into a hole when it was deemed she couldn’t return.
Richey and Marcelle picked up the next two points after the pause, and UBC was off to the races earning a 25-16 win and a one-set advantage.
Using their third libero of the match, after subbing Melissa Unrau out in favour of Sarah Morrissette, the Bisons seemed to find some life in the fourth stanza, picking up an 8-6 lead at the first technical timeout.
“Nicole’s injury took some life out us, but, I like that we battled back,” said Bentley of Hall’s injury.
Even though the Birds tied it up at 10, the two sides stayed neck and neck until a Jen Hinze kill off the Manitoba block made it 15-13 UBC. Cordonier improved the advantage to 20-16, and then Richey made it 24-20. After Manitoba earned the next two points, a Bison attack error sealed the UBC triumph.
NOTES: Rounding out the all-tournament team were UBC’s Jen Hinze, Manitoba’s Tricia Mayba, Ève Trepanier of bronze-medallist Laval, as well as Tiffany Proudfoot of fourth-place Alberta... Laval’s Sarah Létourneau-Lévesque received the R.W Pugh Fair Play Award... Canada West teams have now won the last four CIS titles and 25 of the last 28 (incuding teams from the now defunct GPAC)... Laval will host the 2011 CIS championship in Quebec City...
Tournament MVP: Liz Cordonier, UBC
R.W. Pugh Fair Play Award: Sarah Létourneau-Lévesque, Laval
Ève Trepanier, Laval
Tricia Mayba, Manitoba
Jen Hinze, UBC
Ashley Voth, Manitoba
Liz Cordonier, UBC
Shanice Marcelle, UBC
Tiffany Proudfoot, Alberta
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)
Semi-final #1: UBC 3, Laval 0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-17)
Semi-final #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)
Bronze medal: Laval 3, Alberta 1 (25-20, 20-25, 25-17, 25-23)
Championship final: UBC 3, Manitoba 1 (25-17, 19-25, 25-16, 25-22)