By: Everett Delorme
So far this year in the OUA, one team has surprised me. No, it’s not the 5-0 No. 4 York Lions who have dropped only one set thus far. It’s impressive, but York has consistently been among the top teams in the OUA, and last year dropped only one match, a 3-1 decision to Guelph on January 18th.
No, the team I’ve chosen to talk about this week is the Windsor Lancers. The Lancers have been the perennial doormats for the OUA for pretty much as long as anyone can remember. Their highest total for wins in the past five years was four in the 2010-2011 season, where they finished in second last in the OUA West.
Four, coincidently, is the number of games the Lancers have won in a row to take sole possession of 1st in the newly reinstated OUA West. They picked up a pair of wins this weekend against Western at home on Friday, then travelled to St Catherines on to take down Brock on Sunday, walking away from both contests with 3-1 wins.
Second-year Shannon Dean (Whitby, On) led the team on both occasions with 20 points on Friday including a blistering .464 hitting percentage, and continued with a cool 17.5 points on Sunday hitting .529 on the afternoon.
We don’t know what second-year coach Lucas Hodgson is doing down in Windsor, but whatever it is, so far it’s working.
The Western Mustangs cracked the Top Ten at No. 10 last week, and they followed it up with two solid wins this past weekend.
They opened the weekend with a win against Nipissing, a team still looking for their first win of the season, in a 3-0 effort on Saturday, and followed that up with a 3-1 win over York on Sunday.
In the match against York, Garrett May (Scarborough, On) had himself a game with a 23 point performance while hitting a .556. Teammate Phil James (Ottawa, On), was second in scoring with 17 points, 7 of those being blocks.
By: Pierre Rocque
In what was built up to be one of the biggest matches across the CIS in men’s volleyball, Brandon came into the Golden Bears gym on Friday night and found out why the University of Alberta is ranked number one. The University of Alberta was spot on with passing all night and executed on the offense at .400+ clip for the first two sets with the third set being closer on the scoreboard but the Bears were in the driver seat taking it home in the third. The second night was a little bit of a storyline but same result, and on the back of their three outside hitters hitting a combined .474 Ryley Barnes, Jay Olmstead and Sophomore Ryan Nickifor had 15, 15 and 16 kills respectively and a four set victory over the number four Bobcats.
In other men’s action Calgary and Thompson River split a weekend with a 5 set victory each. UBC takes two from Manitoba, a sweep on Friday night and a five set battle on Saturday in Vancouver. Winnipeg sweeps back to back nights in Winnipeg against the University of Regina. In another meeting of two ranked teams Trinity Western go into Saskatoon and take two off the Huskies only dropping one set along the way. Mount Royal visited Kelowna for the weekend and took a five set battle off of UBCO and followed it up by getting swept by the then winless Heat.
On the women’s side of the ball it was a case of Jekyll and Hyde for the Pandas as they faced Brandon University. Night one saw a controlled performance by Alberta relying on strong serving, efficient attacking and strong defense, which lead to a three set sweep of the Bobcats. This was reversed on Saturday as the Bobcats were in control with efficient an attack that did not see them hit below .230 in a set which led to their own three set sweep at the Saville Center in Edmonton.
In other women’s action the Calgary Dinos swept back to back nights in Kamloops against Thompson River. UBC handled Manitoba with a five set marathon on Friday night and a sweep on the Saturday night to remain perfect on the season. Trinity Western brought themselves back to .500 on the year with two four set victories in Saskatoon against the Huskies. Mount Royal’s trip to Kelowna was not the vacation in the Okanagan they were hoping for as they dropped two to the Heat only coming away with one set victory. The University of Winnipeg hosted the Regina Cougars and were not very welcoming to their guests with a five set victory on Saturday and a three set sweep on Sunday afternoon.