CCAA: Defending Champs; Top Seed to Clash in Semis

No. 4 Red Deer Kings vs. No. 5 St. Clair Saints

They are the defending champions for a reason.

It was a snowy day outside in downtown Charlottetown but it was warm and cozy inside Holland College as the ACAC runner up Red Deer Kings (Red Deer, AB) defeated the OCAA runner up St. Clair Saints in four sets (25-20, 25-22, 20-25, 25-11).

The Kings looked dominant as they took a commanding two sets to none lead in the match. With their backs against the wall, the Saints came out firing in the third set to avoid the sweep but Red Deer responded in a big way in the fourth, proving why they are the reigning champions of CCAA men’s volleyball. 

It was a block party as not even All-Canadian Jason Hernandez seemed to be able to get a ball by the huge Red Deer block in the final points of the match.

The Kings come into the tournament led by CCAA player of the year, Luke Brisbane. The 6-foot-4, first-year setter from Melbourne, Australia led the Kings to a 21-3 regular season record and second place finish in the ACAC. He recorded 760 assists while also being named All-Canadian and ACAC Player of the Year. He recorded 33 assists tonight.

Fifth-year middle Peter Christian won player of the game honours for the Saints, notching seven kills and two aces. Fifth-year outside Tim Finnigan was recognized for the Kings for his 14 kill effort.

Red Deer is Alberta’s only remaining hope at CCAA gold after the ACAC champion Augustana Vikings lost early in the day. They will look to take the next step towards repeating as champions when they face the PacWest champion Camosun Chargers in the second of two semifinals tomorrow night at 8 p.m.

Ontario’s hopes at gold were extinguished as both St. Clair and Niagara failed to get out of their quarterfinal match-ups. The Saints will start their quest for bronze against the Holland Hurricanes tomorrow at 3 p.m. The OCAA has medaled each of the three previous years including gold medals by Humber and Nipissing in 2012 and 2013. Humber also won bronze in 2014.

No. 1 Camosun Chargers vs. No. 8 Holland Hurricanes

Sometimes you only get in because you’re hosting.

That seems to be the case for the Holland Hurricanes (Charlottetown, PEI) as they were defeated by the PacWest champion Camosun Chargers (Victoria, BC). Despite being dominated in the first two sets, the Hurricanes gave Camosun all they could handle in the third before falling in straight sets (25-10, 25-15, 25-22). 

The local faithful were out supporting the host team Thursday night but it wasn’t enough to stop the number one seeded Chargers who booked their ticket to semifinal Friday. The Hurricanes who had a 5-10 regular season record in the ACAA were never expected to beat this experienced Camosun squad.

First-year outside hitter Brett Butler was named player of the game for the Hurricanes in a losing effort with 10 kills and four digs. Fourth-year middle Alexander Sadowski was player of the game for the Chargers with 11 kills and six blocks.

Camosun moves on to face the defending champion Red Deer Kings in tomorrow’s semifinal at 8 p.m. in what is shaping up to potentially be the match of the tournament.

The Hurricanes drop to the consolation bracket and will face the St. Clair Saints in the bronze quarterfinal at 3 p.m.