CIS men's volleyball Saturday roundup: McMaster crowned OUA champs; Calgary wins Canada West title
Photo credit Andrew Scott
|LONDON, Ont. – The McMaster Marauders were
crowned the newest OUA Champions on Saturday night at Alumni Hall,
taking down the Western Mustangs in their own gymnasium.
In the first set, the McMaster Marauders outplayed the Western Mustangs winning it 25-17. They maintained a three-point lead at each technical timeout despite six kills from Western's Mathieu Poulin.
The second set was much of the same. The Mustangs had an early lead, but could not hold on and the Marauders led 8-7 at the first technical. It was neck and neck to the second technical when the Marauders pulled ahead for good on a kill from OUA Final Four MVP Tyler Santoni.
By the third set, Western was down two sets and determined to come out with a win. They had a four-point advantage at the first technical, but McMaster came back to tie it at 15. Reid Halpenny came up with two solid serves followed by Phil James' hard cross-court kill. Western then looked to have the motivation they needed and wrapped up the set 25-18.
The fourth set was extremely tight, but McMaster came away with a 25-22. Both teams went point for point for the first half with McMaster pulling ahead just before the second technical. Western would not be able to come back from the deficit and the Marauders won their third OUA Championship in four years.
Santoni and Jori Mantha both had 11 kills in the match for the Marauders. Libero Josh Lichty finished the game with 18 digs.
Poulin led the Western attack with 13 kills, followed by rookie Garrett May and James with 11 and nine respectively. Mathew Waite and Halpenny each had five kills. Western had a total of 116 attacks.
Players of the game were Poulin for Western and Santoni for McMaster.
The McMaster Marauders advance to the CIS Championships being held at Trinity Western University in British Columbia from March 4 – 6.
Source: Western Athletics
|Canada West bronze|
|The only team to beat the Alberta Golden Bears
volleyball team in the regular season became the second team to
beat the No.2 ranked Bears at the Canada West Final Four, as the
Trinity Western Spartans defeated Alberta 3-1 (21-25, 25-19, 25-18,
and 25-15) in the conference bronze medal match Saturday evening in
the U of A's Main Gym.
Trinity Western, ranked No.4 in the CIS, was led by fourth-year middle Rudy Verhoeff who pounded a match high 19 kills in the win. The recently named conference first team all-star was the focal point of the Spartan attack, as he connected on 38 total attacks with just six errors. The Spartans also received a fantastic night's work from freshman Nicholas Del Bianco, as the rookie cranked out 12 kills on 17 attempts without an error.
The Spartans were also strong at the service line, spinning six aces, compared to just one by the Golden Bears. They split with Alberta during the regular season, winning in straight sets, and losing 3-1, in November at the U of A. It was the only regular season loss Alberta suffered this season.
The Golden Bears, who lost in the semifinal to Brandon on Friday night, got 12 kills from second team all-star Spencer Leiske, as well as 10 kills from fellow second team all-star Jay Olmstead.
Alberta had troubles handling Trinity's service game, committing six serve receive errors, which led to passing problems all night. As that part of their game deteriorated, the attack began to fall apart as well, finishing with 28 errors and a team hitting percentage of 16%. While they spread the offence around; first team all-star setter Tanner Nault dished out 39 assists, and five Bears recorded 10 or more attack attempts, they couldn't sustain any momentum.
They got the start they needed though, winning the opening set 25-21, and looking sharp in the process. Leiske and Mitch Irvine each recorded four kills, and the Bears posted a team hitting percentage of 32%.
Trinity got back into the match in the second, taking over at the end of an otherwise close set to win by six. Del Bianco and fifth-year Mikian Schalk were instrumental in the second set win, as Del Bianco picked up his first two kills of the match, while Schalk banked four kills and a pair of aces.
Alberta seemed to fall apart entirely in the third, connecting on as many kills, eight, as they committed in attack errors. Coincidentally, TWU's middle game, led by Verhoeff, came alive in the third set as well, as he pounded seven kills into the Golden Bear court, bumping his total to 14, while Del Bianco added another four.
The Spartans cruised to victory in the fourth, winning by 10 points to claim the Canada West bronze medal.
Both Alberta and Trinity advance to the CIS national championship, March 4-6 in Langley, BC, but where they will be seeded remains in question. The four conference champions, Laval, Calgary, McMaster and UNB, plus an additional Quebec team, Sherbrooke, and the three other Canada West schools, Brandon, TWU and Alberta, will find out their national championship positioning on Sunday when CIS announces the tournament seeding.
Source: Alberta Sports Info
|Canada West final|
|EDMONTON - Allen Meek dished out 21 kills and a 45
percent attack rating as the University of Calgary Dinos won the
Canada West men's volleyball championship with a 3-2 (25-19, 25-21,
25-27, 23-25 and 16-14) victory over the Brandon Bobcats Saturday
evening in the U of A's Main Gym in Edmonton.
With the win, the Dinos collects their ninth conference title in program history, but their first since 1994. The Dinos now head to the national championship tournament, March 4-6 in Langley, B.C., likely as the No.2 seed with an opportunity to defend their 2010 title.
"That was a battle, it was a really tough match," said Dinos head coach Rod Durrant. "We started really well and were solid in the first two sets, then let a couple slip by. To pull it out 16-14 in the fifth was absolutely fantastic.
"It's a great win, gives us a nice seed for nationals, but as we know that's just step one."
Brandon, ranked No.7 in CIS, also heads to the CIS Tantramar tournament, but as conference silver medalists and potentially the No.3 seed. The Bobcats won national bronze in 2009, but did not attend the tournament last season.
Outside of Meek's 21 kills, Calgary received 19 each from Curtis James and recently named Canada West MVP Graham Vigrass. The Dinos were very strong defensively as well, banking 69 digs and 23 blocks.
The Bobcats got a match high 22 kills from fifth-year Kevin Millar, while Paul Sanderson contributed 19.
Calgary appeared as though they were going to cruise to a straight sets win, taking the opening two sets in large part because of the play of James and Vigrass. By the end of the second set, James had recorded 10 kills, while Vigrass chipped in with eight, including five in the second frame.
However, Sanderson and the 'Cats roared back in the third, clawing back from a set long deficit to win a tight 27-25 decision to force a fourth. Sanderson carved out six kills in the third, as Brandon converted many Calgary errors into points. The Dinos saw their attack rating drop from 31% to 25% after three.
Miller took over the in the fourth, smashing seven kills, and sophomore middle Dan Boutwell spun a pair of aces, helping Brandon to a 25-23 win, and sending the teams to the fifth and final set.
After posting 12 kills through the opening three sets, Meek became a force in the final two sets, collecting 10 combined kills, including five in the final set. The two teams played an extremely close fifth, and although Calgary seemed in control, Brandon continually forced their way back into the contest, pushing into extra point territory, before eventually falling just short.
Calgary now joins the other three conference winners, Laval, McMaster and UNB, in the seeding pool, along with Brandon, Trinity Western, Canada West bronze medalists, Sherbrooke, the silver medal squad from Quebec, and the Canada West fourth place finishers, the Alberta Golden Bears. CIS national seeding information will be released on Sunday, along with the tournament schedule.
Source: Calgary Sports Info