Spartan Holiday Classic Mens Tournament Ends Tonight

While we've been covering the York Excalibur Tournament in Toronto, some intense mens volleyball has been happening in Langley, British Columbia. Some of the countries highest-ranked teams were in competition over the last few days, and it all culminates to the final games tonight. In terms of the CIS, Calgary (ranked third) and Trinity Western (ranked fourth) are still alive. The tournament also featured Queen's, coming from Kingston with the third best record in the OUA.

Queen's just barely missed making a run at the gold, dropping to the tough Trinity Western team 3-1 in sets. A tournament favourite, Calgary, beat out UBC in the semi finals, despite being ranked third after the round robin stages.

The bronze medal game will feature Queen's vs. UBC on Wednesday January 5, 2011, at 6 pm PST. That means 9 pm for our Ontario readers.

The gold medal game is between the afforementioned third and fourth ranks in all of the CIS, Calgary and Trinity Western. The game will surely be a treat for spectators, and potentially an early display of what the CIS playoffs will look like. Start time is 8 pm PST, or 11 pm for the Ontario readers.

There are some odd points to be debated about the CIS rankings. For one, Calgary is ranked third even though they have a better record, and are ahead in their local rankings, than second ranked Alberta. Trinity Western is ranked fourth in the CIS, but is trailing Manitoba locally even though Manitoba ranks in below them at sixth country-wide. Laval is the first-ranked team in Canada.

All said and done, regardless of the minor questions in exact ranks, these are two of the best teams our university volleyball programs have to offer. Results will be posted tomorrow as the games finish.

CanadaWest.org has done an incredible job of supplying match specifics, and some stats produced over the weekend. You'd be missing out to not check out their article here to know more about the Spartan Holiday Classic.