QUARTERFINAL #2: Reigning champ UBC sweeps Queen’s in opener
Courtesy of McMaster University sports information / Photo credit Jay Rautins
HAMILTON, Ont. (CIS) – The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds opened their title defence with a straight-set win (25-19, 25-19, 25-16) over the Queen’s Gaels in the second quarter-final of the CIS women’s volleyball championship at McMaster’s Burridge Gym, Friday afternoon.
The T-Birds, seeded second at the tournament after settling for Canada West silver last weekend, hope to capture a remarkable fifth straight CIS banner, and to add to their record collection of eight national titles in women’s volleyball.
Today’s victory was UBC’s 13th in a row at the CIS tourney since a loss to Laval in the 2006 final. The T-Birds have reached the title match in each of their six CIS championship appearances over the past seven years.
UBC will look to resume its domination Saturday at 6 p.m. in the first semifinal. Its rival will be No. 3 Montreal, which downed No. 6 Trinity Western in four sets earlier on Friday.
For their part, the seventh-seeded Gaels were playing their first-ever match at the Nationals after claiming the first OUA banner in program history last week. They will face Trinity Western on the consolation side of the draw Saturday at 1 p.m.
Kyla Richey of Roberts Creek, B.C., who was named the CIS player of the year on Wednesday night, led all scorers in the win with 11.5 points on eight kills, two aces and three block assists. She also had eight digs en route to UBC game-MVP honours.
Shanice Marcelle, last year’s CIS MVP and a first-team all-Canadian this season, contributed seven kills and 10 points.
“This is my fifth year so this is a special one,” commented Richey, a Canadian national team member who will take part in the Olympic qualifying tournament in late April. “It was nice to come out hard today after losing the Canada West final last weekend.”
The Thunderbirds where consistent in the early going opening up a lead in the first set. They kept their hitting errors to a minimum only committing four in the frame compared to Queen’s 11. They would build their lead to 16-14 at the technical timeout and then hold on for a 25-19 win.
“I think we did a nice job starting off. Our blocking was great at the start and at various times. As the match went on we became steadier in all skill areas,” said UBC head coach Doug Reimer.
“The first round is always tough. Queen’s is good team, and I was happy to see us pushed through 16.”
The Gaels put forth a solid effort battling in all three sets, but in the end the defending CIS champs proved to be too much.
“It felt good to coach in my first nationals. I feel like we trained hard and we were prepared to be here, but we need a change in attitude to come out and play Trinity Western with confidence,” commented Queen’s coach Joely Christian-MacFarlane after the match.
Becky Billings led the Gaels with 10 points on nine kills and one ace. Queen’s player of the match also had nine digs.
In the second set, the teams traded points until UBC went on a 5-1 run to go into the technical timeout ahead 16-14. Despite a Queen’s rally, UBC prevailed 25-19.
The third frame was much like the prior two, but the Thunderbirds built a more substantial lead, up 16-9 at technical timeout, and held on to secure the match with a 25-16 set win.
“The semis are my favourite game to play in. There is a lot on the line and we need to refocus on the team at hand,” said Richey.
Reimer added, “We haven’t seen Montreal all year. This is why nationals are great, it is chance to play good teams from around the country. Tomorrow will be a tough match and we will need to bring our A game.”
Kills: Kyla Richey (8), Shanice Marcelle (7)
Points: Kyla Richey (11.5), Shanice Marcelle (10)
Blocks: Jessica Von Schillin (1)
Digs: Briana Liau Kent (11)
Service aces: Kyla Richey (2)
Assists: Brina Derksen-Bergen (22)
Player of the match: Kyla Richey
Kills: Becky Billings (9), Natalie Gray (6)
Points: Becky Billings (10), Natalie Gray (7)
Blocks: Katie Hagarty (1)
Digs: Natalie Gray (11), Katy Hagarty (11)
Service aces: 5 players with 1
Assists: Anna Pedjase (20)
Player of the match: Becky Billings
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE & RESULTS
NOTE: Live webcast of all games on SSN Canada.
NOTE: Live broadcast of championship semifinals and Sunday games on Cable 14 (Hamilton).
Friday, March 2
13:00 Quarter-final #1: Montreal 3, Trinity Western 1 (25-22, 11-25, 25-21, 25-23)
15:00 Quarter-final #2: UBC 3, Queen’s 0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-16)
18:00 Quarter-final #3: No. 4 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 5 McGill
20:00 Quarter-final #4: No. 1 Alberta vs. No. 8 McMaster
Saturday, March 3
13:00 Consolation #1: Trinity Western vs. Queen’s
15:00 Consolation #2: Loser QF #3 vs. Loser QF #4
18:00 Semifinal #1: Montreal vs. UBC
20:00 Semifinal #2: Winner QF #3 vs. Winner QF #4
Sunday, March 4
11:00 5th place
13:00 Bronze medal
16:00 Championship final