By: Brendan Collins
This past weekend, the AUS hosted the second AUS-RSEQ interlock event of the 2013/14 CIS men's volleyball season between the three-teamed conferences. The Dalhousie University Tigers (8-2) lost their opening match of the weekend to Laval (7-2), unable to get past Laval’s Oliver Pinar, who had an impressive performance in the five set match, earning fourteen kills on twenty attempts committing only two errors (.600). Dalhousie moved on to win their next two games to uphold their placement atop the AUS conference, beating Sherbrooke (3-6) and Montreal (4-6) Universities in four sets. The University of New Brunswick (7-3) overcame Montreal in four, beat Sherbrooke in three sets and lost to the defending CIS champions and current RSEQ conference leaders, the Laval Rouge et Or in an unpredictable five set match (19-25, 25-18, 25-12, 20-25, 11-15). Meanwhile, Montreal’s second match of the day resulted in a win over Memorial (0-10), who were also taken in three by Laval, Montreal and Sherbrooke, extending Memorial’s winless season to ten matches.
On the women’s side, the AUS-RSEQ interlock event was also taking place at Sherbrooke University for many of the women’s teams. The opening day had the two top AUS teams go down in five sets to the two leading RSEQ conference schools. Laval (10-2) and Montreal (10-2) won their matches over Halifax universities, Dalhousie Tigers (5-4) and Saint Mary’s Huskies (6-3). Despite going five sets, Montreal University outplayed the AUS top seed rival with an average kill percentage of .311 compared to SMU’s .167%,
On Saturday, the RSEQ went 5-1 against the AUS conference, with the only win for the AUS going to the Saint Mary’s Huskies who beat the host team in four. In their first game of the day, the Huskies and Tigers swapped their results from the previous day, again losing to the top two RSEQ teams. Dal was beaten by Montreal in three sets, who went undefeated on the weekend, while Saint Mary’s lost in four to Laval. Montreal then went on to beat Acadia (2-8) in three, while McGill University (8-4) also beat Acadia and Dalhousie in four sets.
Sunday provided more success for the Atlantic Canada representatives, winning two of the three interlock matches. This time both Halifax based university teams came out on top with the Huskies beating McGill and the Tigers knocking off the hosts Sherbrooke in four. Laval ended their weekend with a three-set-sweep over Acadia who lost all three of their matches, solidifying the Rouge et Or supremacy atop the RSEQ.
In regular AUS season play, Cape Breton University (0-9) lost both their matches to UNB (3-6) and Moncton (3-7), and remain alongside Thompson River (0-10) and Nipissing (0-10) as the only winless women’s teams in the CIS.
By: Everett Delorme
The Ottawa Gee-Gees got a little bit of revenge on Saturday afternoon, when the undefeated No. 4 York Lions took a trip to Ottawa to take on the No. 9 (for now) Gee-Gees. The last time these two teams met back on November 3rd, York walked away with an easy 3-0 win, could York continued their undefeated streak?
Although this match did go all five, it really shouldn’t have. Maybe it was the long bus drive to Ottawa, but the Lions were not the team we were used to seeing on this Saturday.
Ottawa dominated in every category imaginable. Taking a look at kills (65 for Ottawa, 38 for York), service aces (11 for Ottawa, eight for York), digs (72 for Ottawa, 61 for York) and blocks (20 for Ottawa, six for York), it’s hard to imagine how the Gee-Gees didn’t walk away with an easy 3-0. But it was Ottawa’s undisciplined play that kept their fans biting their nails. When you take into account the 38 hitting errors and the 19 hitting errors, the stats paint a very nice picture of this match.
This match marks the first time since 2009 that York isn’t undefeated going into the Christmas break. York and Ottawa now both sit atop of the OUA with 9-1 records.
In men’s action, The Queen’s Golden Gaels have long been the cream of the crop in the OUA. Since 2006, the Gaels and the Marauders have split every OUA Championship evenly, both sitting at four a piece. This year though, things are much different in the Queens gym.
Heading into the weekend, the Gaels were looking to bounce back from a couple of losses against Ryerson and Toronto, unfortunately for Queens, the only thing that seemed to be bouncing was the ball on their side of the court.
The Gaels opened their weekend in poor fashion, going down 2-0 against Ryerson on Friday night, only to fight back and lose in five. The Tri-Colour couldn’t even hot over their weight, as they hit a paltry .133 on Friday.
Looking to get back in the horse on Saturday afternoon, the Gaels took on the Toronto Varsity Blues, a team they haven’t lost to since Orest Stanko coached there. They managed to compete much better in the first two sets, losing only 24-26 and 22-25, before managing to pullout the third with a 25-20 win. But it was never to be, as Toronto closed it out 28-26, closing their first semester with their first back-to-back wins of the season, and sitting ahead of the Gaels in the standings with a record of 4-6, while the Gaels sit at 3-5 with two touch match-ups in Western and Windsor next weekend.
By: Pierre Rocque
Canada West - Men
Another weekend in the Canada West is in the books and the standings have a few wrinkles in it that were not foreseen in the pre-season. Trinity Western is holding down first place at 9-1, UBC is second at 7-3 and then there are 8 teams within one game of each other at 6-4 and 5-5, with a pre-season favorite and still nationally ranked U of S Huskies looking in from the outside at 3-7.
On the back of some strong blocking the Trinity Western Spartans led by Nicholas Del Bianco walked all over Regina at home, not dropping a set and hitting near or way above .300 the entire weekend. Trinity had 23.5 blocks along with 15 aces made the Cougars life a living nightmare forcing them to hit in .100s in their best sets.
The University of Alberta Golden Bears had everything go according to plan on Friday night against a young Manitoba Bison’s team, forcing ‘Toba to hit in the negatives, collecting 12 blocks and being lead in kills by their sophomore sensation Ryan Nickifor. The next night started with a lot of the same as the Bears jumped out to a 2-0 set lead but could not hold off the Bison any longer as they came charging back to win three straight tight sets and upset the Bears on their home court.
Elsewhere in the Canada-West Brandon held serve at home against Mount Royal Cougars, sweeping back-to-back nights. Thompson Rivers is showing why they belong in the conversation as a national contender, beating up another ranked team by beating the U of S Huskies at home 3-2 and 3-0. UBC-Okanagan split the weekend series in two five setters with the Wesmen. Finally the Thunderbirds lost the first set of the weekend to the Calgary Dinos but did not lose another from there on in taking six straight to complete a weekend sweep. The T’Birds sweep meant that teams from British Columbia went 7-1 on the weekend.
Canada West – Women
A little more separation is happening on the ladies side of the ball with UBC being the big cheese at the top at 10-0, UBCO and Brandon knotted up in second at 8-2, Manitoba and Trinity at 6-4 in fourth, Alberta alone in sixth at 5-5 with Calgary and Saskatchewan tied up for that final playoff spot at 4-6 which leaves Mount Royal Regina and Winnipeg at 3-7 looking from the outside in and needing some help to get back in the playoff hunt.
The Pandas like their male counter parts were in fine form on Friday taking a hard fought five set match of the Bisons from Manitoba. Alberta relied on the play of Meg Cassault and Karly Janssen who paired up for 40 kills in the match, along with the the team hitting at least .235 in the three sets they won allowed the Pandas to sneak out a win at home before turning around the following night and losing a four set battle.
Brandon will likely hold on to their number 3 spot in the country after two sweeps of Mount Royal Cougars on Kenyon court in Calgary, they completed the sweep by using a balanced attack with no player scoring over 11 kills on either night and strong blocking (19.5 blocks).
The weekend was not without any drama as Trinity Western fell at home to Regina on Friday night in three, only to return the favour the next night and win in four. Trinity who was ranked second in the country going into the weekend has fallen to 6-4 into a tie for fourth in the conference.
Saskatchewan kept the TRU Wolfpack off the board again with back to back sweeps, bringing TRU to 0-10 in a season that has seen them not win a single set. UBCO swept Winnipeg Wesmen both nights in Kelowna, showing why they are ranked #7 in the country and will likely be moving up as the season continues. UBC asserted their dominance over another opponent this weekend as they hosted the lady Dinos and didn’t miss a beat all weekend and swept the Calgary crew both nights.