uSports: Matches to Watch January 10th-13th
The uSports season is back in full swing this weekend, there’s a full schedule across the country! Here’s what you should watch.
The #3 Dalhousie Tigers have been sweeping their way through the AUS this season. dropping only two sets in 9 matches so far this season. One of those sets was to Acadia at the beginning of the season - while the Axewomen’s only two losses have come at the hands of the Tigers. Acadia is led by duo Lucy Glen Carter and Lauren Renzella. The pair sit at #2 & #3 in kills in the AUS with 100 and 90 respectively - trailing only the Tigers’ Julie Moore with 101. Can Acadia make a move on the perennial powers?
W | UBC (8-6) @ MacEwan (7-5) | Friday: 6:00 p.m. PT/9:00 p.m. ET - Saturday 5:00 p.m. PT/8:00 p.m. ET (Pass Required)
With 7 teams within 4 points of each other in the middle of the CanadaWest standings -this weekend’s matchup could give a serious leg up over a crowded groups towards a top 4 spot. MacEwan will be looking to prove they’re the real deal this weekend when they visit the Thunderbirds and the best player in the country. Kiera Van Ryk, fresh off an appearance at the World Championships with the National team, the Surrey B.C. hasn’t missed a beat - tearing her way through her 2nd year in uSports. With an astonishing 305 points in 14 matches, she’s averaging 5.8 points per set and averaging 4.68 kills per set. The Griffins have taken the scoring by committee approach - with 5 five players having scored at least 105 points, a win in Vancouver would be a big statement.
For a team who hasn’t had a winning record in almost a decade - the Waterloo have been the biggest surprise of the uSports season. Putting themselves at the top with statement wins over Western and McMaster -they have a perfect record sit sit at the top of the Division. They’re biggest match-up of the year so far will be in Toronto on Sunday. While the Varsity Blues may have a pair of losses to Western and Queens - they still have the best player in the conference Alina Dormann, who sits 4th in OUA scoring with 129.5 points while averaging 3.67 kills/set, and Brianna Patrick who sits in 5th with 118 points. This will be the Warriors first test against a Nationally ranked opponent - can they prove they’re the real deal?
A classic match-up no matter what - this one will be especially import as it determines who gets to sit in sole possession of 2nd in the OUA West. Kelsey Veltman leads the OUA in scoring with 146.5 points and a .286 efficiency - and is the engine who runs the Mustangs. For the Marauders, Jessie Nairn has been having a breakout season. Leading McMaster with 115 points and averaging 2.97 kills/set - she also sits 2nd in digs with 47.
M | #1 Brandon (12-2) @ #4 Alberta (11-1) | Friday 6:00 p.m. MT/8:00 p.m. ET - Saturday 6:30 p.m. MT/8:30 p.m. ET (Game of the Week Free Match in Friday)
The Bobcats stand atop of the uSports men’s volleyball rankings for the first time in program history - but they won’t have time to take a a breath at top as they travel to Edmonton this weekend to take on the Golden Bears. A pair of 3-0 wins over the previously #1 Trinity Western Spartans last weekend was a statement heard across Canada - they’re going to have to play just as well, in a match up that should essentially determine the favourite heading into the playoffs. The Golden Bears’ sole loss came at the hands of the Spartans, and they have a veteran team that has a great case to be the best team in the country. Taryq Sani’s move to the outside has produced some explosive results as he sits 5th in the conference in kills with 164 and has a team high 191 points. If someone grabs a pair of W’s - they undoubtably have a strangle hold on the top stop in the Canada West.
M | #5 Mount Royal (9-3) @ #9 Thompson Rivers (7-3) | Friday 6:45 p.m. PT/9:45 p.m. ET (Pass Required)
This match-up between the biggest biggest sluggers in the league has huge implications both in standings and National Ranking. MRU’s Tyler Schimdt and TRU’s Tim Dobbert sit 1-2 in kills and points per set. While Schimdt, averaging 5.7 points/set has played two more matches than Dobbert, his 220 kills lead the league while Dobbert, averaging 5.0 points/set, has 181 tallies for second. Both teams sit with 3 losses and are fighting for fourth place - so a pair of wins here could mean homecourt advantage come the playoffs - not to mention a boost in the National Rankings.
This first matchup of the year will likely determine top spot in the OUA West. Windsor picked up right where they left off last season with a Bronze at Provincials and their first appearance at Nationals and are making a serious case to being the top team in the OUA. Despite McMaster looking a little human this year with a pair of losses - they’re still the top dog until someone takes the Forsyth Cup away from them. Andrew Richards is still world-class - sitting 4th in points with 128.5 points, while he and Nathan Delguidice sit 4-5 averaging 4.7 and 4.6 points/set respectively. On Windsor’s side of things - Pierce Johnson has been a machine - averaging 4.09 kills/set at a .356 efficiency and sits in 3rd with 154.5 points. No matter what happens Saturday - this will quite possibly be a preview of the OUA Final.