By: Pierre Rocque
In a battle of the number one and number three ranked teams in the country the Trinity Western Spartans stunned the U of A Golden Bears by dropping only one set over the weekend at home. Trinity road the back of some excellent blocking and efficient attacking as the team did not hit below .300 on Friday and had 36 kills combined from the outsides Nicholas Del Bianco and Brad Kufske. Saturday saw a lot of the same story as Trinity kept their attacking above .300 and had eight total blocks in the three set sweep. Kufske and Del Bianco combined for 25 leading the way again over the Bears. With the win the Spartans have given themselves a bit of breathing room at the top of the Canada West at 6-0. The loss puts the Bears into a log jam with four other teams at 4-2.
Not too many surprises around the rest of the league as the University of Calgary took two off of Regina, UBC swept the weekend from Thompson Rivers, Mount Royal swept the Winmen while at home, Brandon had their way in two against UBC-Okanagan and in the closest matchup of the weekend the University of Saskatchewan Huskies split with the Manitoba Bisons, each winning a five setter
The Brandon Bobcats women have begun their ascent of the Canada West standings as the number six Bobcats took two matches from the UBC-O Heat. The weekend sweep vaults Brandon into second after receiving some help around the league.
Around the the rest of the league the UBC Thunderbirds just kept rolling as they hosted the Thompson Rivers WolfPack sweeping the weekend with two clean sweeps not giving up more than 18 in a set. Mount Royal and Winnipeg both took home four set victories. The University of Calgary Dinos split the weekend in Regina with the Cougars, Manitoba Bisons did not drop a set to the Huskies at home and in Langley the Pandas took the Friday match surprising the number three Spartans, Trinity came out and redeemed themselves on Saturday by winning a five setter to split the series.
By: Everett Delorme
Saturday afternoon featured an east vs. west battle in the OUA, with the west’s top team, Windsor, traveling to Ottawa to take on last year’s OUA Champs, the Ottawa Gee-Gees.
Windsor was riding a four game winning streak, while Ottawa was looking to bounce back from their only loss of the season, a 3-0 decision to York on November 3rd.
Although Windsor did manage a comeback win in the second set, off the strength of an eight-point serving by setter Danielle Lenarduzzi, it wasn’t enough. Ottawa’s ability to pick teams apart from the baseline got back on track, with the team recording a heavy 20 serving aces on the day.
Ottawa’s offense was led by twin sisters Myriam and Kelsie English, who both recorded 23.5 points on the afternoon, Windsor was led by second-year standout Shannon Dean, as she led her team with 13 points, while only committing one hitting error on the day for a .417 hitting efficiency, as she leads the nation with a .402.
Other OUA women’s action saw Ryerson travel to Waterloo to face the Warriors. Waterloo surprised the visiting team by jumping out to a 2-0 lead after 27-25 and 25-23 wins. The Rams were not to be deterred, and fought back to not only win the next set, but the entire match, taking it in the fifth with a 15-10 win. Ryerson did face a set back though, as third-year middle Chelsea Briscoe had to be pulled from the match when she suffered a concussion.
The York Lions now sit atop of the OUA after a pair of wins in Kingston on the weekend. Yes we know that means they had to play RMC, but the big one was against the Queens Gaels, a rematch of last year’s OUA quarterfinal. This one was much of the same; a tightly contested match between two teams that who are realistically neck and neck.
York burst out of the gate with a 25-23 win, and followed that up with another, 25-22. Queens did manage to fight back in the third and fourth with a pair of 25-23 wins, but in the end, York pulled out the 15-9 win. Ray Szeto led the Lions with 25 points on the night, including 23 kills, contributing on his 140 kills on the year, a category he’s leading the CIS in. Greg Ivan was also impressive, with 12.5 points, and hitting an impressive .769. Philippe Goyer led the Gaels with 24 points; he currently sits in 10th nationally with 3.75 kills per set.
Another big match up in the OUA was Ryerson visiting Waterloo. Ryerson started the year at No. 9, but dropped out pretty much immediately, while Waterloo is considered to be one of the top contenders in the province.
Things were not going in Ryerson’s favor early on, as their leading scorer Rob Wojcik was having an uncharacteristic off night, and they dropped the set 25-19. After replacing Wojcik for fourth- year George Sakvarelidze (try saying that five times fast), and Ryerson bounced back with a 25-15 win, hitting an impressive .733 as a team. The Rams’ other face showed in the 3rd, as their offence crumbled, with a dismal .094 efficiency, and Waterloo took the third 25-19 once again. In the end, it was Ryerson’s night, as they closed out the match with 25-21 and 15-13 wins. Sakvarelidze led the rams with 13.5 points in three and a half sets of work, while Marc Reardon added another 12.5. Waterloo was led by Zach Doherty, who had 24 in the losing effort, and sits in 8th in the CIS with 100 points.