The Sport Information Resource Centre
Use double quotes to find documents that include the exact phrase: "aerodynamic AND testing"
The Sport Information Resource Centre

Canadian Interuniversity Sport – OTTAWA (CIS) – A year after capturing their first national title as the top-seed, the Trinity Western Spartans are hungry for more and are once again tournament favourites heading into the 2016 CIS women’s volleyball championship.

CHAMPIONSHIP WEBSITE: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wvball/index

The eight-team competition, hosted for the first time by Brandon University, kicks off Friday and culminates Sunday with the gold-medal final at 6 p.m. Central Time. All 11 matches will be televised locally on WCGtv and webcast live on www.CIS-SIC.tv.  

Rounding out the seeding behind the Canada West champion Spartans are the No. 2 Toronto Varsity Blues (OUA champs), No. 3 UBC Okanagan Heat (Canada West finalists), No. 4 Montreal Carabins (RSEQ champs), No. 5 UBC Thunderbirds (Canada West bronze medallists), No. 6 Dalhousie Tigers (AUS champs), No. 7 McGill Martlets (RSEQ finalists) and No. 8 Brandon Bobcats (hosts).

Friday’s quarter-finals include McGill vs. Toronto in the 12:30 p.m. CT opener, followed by Dalhousie vs. UBC Okanagan at 2:30 p.m., host Brandon vs. Trinity Western at 6 p.m., as well as UBC vs. Montreal at 8 p.m.

The Canada West conference – which makes up half the field this week – has dominated the national competition over the years, winning each of the last nine banners and 30 of 33 titles since 1983.

Among the 2016 contenders, only three have hoisted the coveted trophy in the past, including UBC with an all-time record 10 conquests, as well as TWU and Dalhousie with single triumphs in 2015 and 1982, respectively.

Montreal’s best result at the CIS tourney is a silver medal in 2008. McGill claimed bronze in 2012. Toronto has placed fourth on two occasions, while both UBC Okanagan and host Brandon will make their championship debut this weekend.

The top-seeded Spartans looked invincible early on in their first season as reigning national champions, winning their first 17 contests against CIS opponents, including a 13-0 run to open the Canada West schedule. The champs did hit a rough patch in February, dropping three of their last five league matches to finish third in the conference standings, but found their game again in the playoffs with four straight victories, including a pair of five-set thrillers over Alberta and UBC Okanagan at the Canada West Final Four.

The talented Trinity Western roster includes many veterans from last year’s championship squad, including conference all-stars Nikki Cornwall (setter), Katie Devaney (middle), Elly Wendel (opposite) and Sophie Carpentier (outside).

“From the very beginning, we wanted this team to blaze its own trail. We believed that this team could be capable of some pretty special things, but it was going to require a ton of hard work and a ton of grit and I believe the team showed that in the Canada West championship,” said 11-year head coach Ryan Hofer, who took his troops to China for a Goodwill Tour last September. “We changed our lineup right up until the first round of playoffs. We could have gone through a lot of turmoil as a team, but I’m really proud of the culture and the resilience and the ability for these girls to except their roles and flourish within them. This group has been getting better and better together and we hope that continues into the national tournament.”

A year after finishing fourth as the tournament host, Toronto’s chances of reaching the CIS podium for the first time have never looked better. The Varsity Blues have put together an unblemished OUA season, including a 19-0 league record and a 3-0 playoff run capped by a straight-set domination of Ryerson in the title match. The Blues can’t afford to look past first-round opponent McGill however as they lost twice to the Martlets in tournament action back in October, in Montreal.

“We learned a lot from last year’s CIS championship and I think we have a great group of athletes that are ready to take our program to the next level,” said Kristine Drakich, in her 27th campaign at the helm. “Our strength is in our systems and in our ability to adapt. I think if we stick to our systems and adapt the way we have been all season, that good things can happen this weekend.”

In its fifth year on the circuit, UBC Okanagan officially arrived among the CIS elite this season, posting a remarkable 32-3 overall record, topping eight of 15 national weekly polls, and coming within one set of claiming its first Canada West title. Two of the Heat’s three losses came at the hands of defending national champion Trinity Western, but both times UBCO pushed its BC rivals to five sets.

“This being the school’s first trip in any sport we are ecstatic to be competing in the CIS championship,” said 15-year sideline boss Steve Manuel. “We have been so very close to getting here these past couple of years, taking this step is huge and the next evolution to our young CIS program. Our team has been nothing short of relentless and now all the hard work over the past five years is paying off. We have prepared well and we are ready to compete on the national stage.”

After knocking at the door for a decade, fourth-seeded Montreal feels 2016 might finally be its time to shine. The Carabins, who rolled over Laval and McGill in the RSEQ playoffs winning 12 of 13 sets en route to their second straight conference title, have reached the CIS semifinals five times since 2006, including a pair of bronze medals and their lone championship final appearance in 2008.

“Our goal heading into the championship is to win three sets a day, nine in totals,” said 12-year coach Olivier Trudel, whose team opens against UBC for the second straight year, having dominated the Thunderbirds 3-0 last winter in Toronto. “We have very high expectations. We’re facing a great challenge but we know what we’re capable of as a team.”     

UBC has cooled off a bit since winning a record-tying six straight CIS banners from 2008 to 2013 but has still managed to reach the national tournament every year since, including a return trip to the final in 2014 and a sixth-place finish last March. The resilient T-Birds have had their ups and downs this season, losing four of their first five pre-season duels against Canada West opponents, winning 11 straight league matches in October and November, dropping five of six at one point in January, before winning eight of their last 10 going into nationals.

“Our team is thrilled to have the chance to return to the CIS championship. A tough conference and competitive Final Four made this a rewarding accomplishment for our players and staff,” said 19-year head coach Doug Reimer, whose program has missed the national tourney only once over the past 22 seasons, in 2007. “We have had our share of injury, illness and adversity especially in the middle part of the season and I feel fortunate that we were able to persevere and play well at some key times down the stretch.”

Dalhousie was dominant this season in the AUS, finishing atop the standings with a comfortable four-game cushion over Memorial before defeating Saint Mary’s 3-0 and the Sea-Hawks 3-1 in the playoffs. The Tigers’ success also extended beyond their own conference as they kept a 5-2 record against RSEQ and OUA opponents, including a 3-1 victory over Quebec champion Montreal in interlock play on Nov. 21.

“We have had a very successful season with an overall record of 22-3, highlighted by capturing our fourth consecutive AUS championship,” said eight-year mentor Rick Scott, at the helm of the only AUS program to capture the CIS banner. “We’ve been working hard all season and have come together as a team to make great improvements. We are looking forward to the national championship and are hopeful that our experience will serve us well.”

McGill returns to the CIS tournament for the first time since achieving the best result in program history in 2012, a bronze-medal victory over archrival Montreal in Hamilton. Ranked nationally in all 15 weekly coaches’ polls this season, the Martlets have posted wins against no less than four Final Eight rivals along the way, including a pair against first-round opponent Toronto, as well as singles versus the Carabins, Dalhousie and Brandon.  

“We expected to play one of the top seeds in the opening round and it won’t be easy,” said Rachèle Béliveau, a former Canadian Olympian now in her 25th season behind the bench at McGill. “But the game is played on the court and we have the advantage of being familiar with our first opponent, Toronto, who we defeated twice in the preseason. Our style may not be as powerful as some teams but we are quick and agile. We compete hard and dig as well as anyone.”

It’s been an interesting season to say the least for tournament host Brandon, which will need all the crowd support it can get on Friday against top-seeded and reigning champion Trinity Western. After losing nine straight overall from mid-November to January 2nd, the Bobcats rebounded with 14 consecutive wins, including 12 in a row to close out conference play. They were then eliminated by UBC in the Canada West quarter-finals.

“This opportunity is a culmination of the last year and a half of preparation since we were announced as hosts, and the last 11 years of our program’s existence,” said 11-year coach Lee Carter. “The organizing committee and our athletes have worked very hard to showcase our program, and we’re thrilled for this opportunity.  This chance to host is really a product of everyone who has contributed to our program since the team’s inception in 2005, in particular, the athletes who have worn BU blue and gold in representing our team.”

PARTICIPATING TEAMS

NO. 1 TRINITY WESTERN SPARTANS

Head coach: Ryan Hofer (11th season)

Regular season record: 20-4

Regular season standing: 3rd Canada West

Playoff record: 4-0

Playoff finish: Canada West champions

Overall record vs. CIS teams: 28-4

Top 10 final ranking (Feb. 23): No. 4   

Top 10 best ranking: No. 1 (3 weeks)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (15 polls): 15

Conference award winners: None

Conference 1st team all-stars: Nikki Cornwall (S), Katie Devaney (M), Elly Wendel (OPP)

Conference 2nd team all-stars: Sophie Carpentier (OH)

Conference all-rookie team: Rowyn Neufeld (LS/OH)

CIS championship best result: Champions (2015)

CIS championship last appearance: 2015 (champions)

CIS championship sequence: 6th consecutive appearance

NO. 2 TORONTO VARSITY BLUES

Head coach: Kristine Drakich (27th season)

Regular season record: 19-0

Regular season standing: 1st OUA East

Playoff record: 3-0

Playoff finish: OUA champions

Overall record vs. CIS teams: 30-4

Top 10 final ranking (Feb. 23): No. 2   

Top 10 best ranking: No. 2 (2 weeks)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (15 polls): 15

Conference award winners (OUA East): Alina Dormann (MVP & rookie), Kristine Drakich (coach)

Conference 1st team all-stars (OUA East): Alina Dormann (RS), Bojana Radan (M), Madelyn Mandryk (S), Denise Wooding (LIB)

Conference 2nd team all-stars (OUA East): Tessa Davis (M)

Conference all-rookie team (OUA East): Alina Dormann (RS)

CIS championship best result: 4th place (2015, 2001)

CIS championship last appearance: 2015 (4th place)

CIS championship sequence: 2nd straight appearance

NO. 3 UBC OKANAGAN HEAT

Head coach: Steve Manuel (15th season – 5 in CIS)

Regular season record: 22-2

Regular season standing: 1st Canada West

Playoff record: 1-1

Playoff finish: Canada West finalists

Overall record vs. CIS teams: 32-3

Top 10 final ranking (Feb. 23): No. 1

Top 10 best ranking: No. 1 (8 polls)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (15 polls): 15

Conference award winners: Steve Manuel (coach)

Conference 1st team all-stars: Katie Wuttunee (M)

Conference 2nd team all-stars: Katy Klomps (M), Brianna Beamish (LS/OH)

Conference all-rookie team: None

CIS championship best result: First appearance

CIS championship last appearance: First appearance

CIS championship sequence: First appearance

NO. 4 MONTREAL CARABINS

Head coach: Olivier Trudel (12th season)

Regular season record: 17-5

Regular season standing: 1st RSEQ

Playoff record: 4-0

Playoff finish: RSEQ champions

Overall record vs. CIS teams: 28-8

Top 10 final ranking (Feb. 23): No. 5 (tied)   

Top 10 best ranking: No. 4 (1 week)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (15 polls): 15

Conference award winners: Marie-Alex Bélanger (MVP)

Conference 1st team all-stars: Marie-Alex Bélanger (OH), Sarah Gosselin (M)

Conference 2nd team all-stars: Alexane Joly (M), Vicky Savard (OH), Stéphanie Lojen (LIB)

Conference all-rookie team: No rookie team in RSEQ

CIS championship best result: Finalists (2008)

CIS championship last appearance: 2015 (bronze)

CIS championship sequence: 2nd straight appearance (10th in 11 years)

NO. 5 UBC THUNDERBIRDS

Head coach: Doug Reimer (19th season)

Regular season record: 17-7

Regular season standing: 4th Canada West

Playoff record: 3-1

Playoff finish: Canada West bronze medallists

Overall record vs. CIS teams: 23-12

Top 10 final ranking (Feb. 23): No. 5 (tied)  

Top 10 best ranking: No. 5 (3 weeks)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (15 polls): 14

Conference award winners: None

Conference 1st team all-stars: None

Conference 2nd team all-stars: None

Conference all-rookie team: None

CIS championship best result: 10-time champions (2008 to 2013, 1978, 1977, 1974, 1973)

CIS championship last appearance: 2015 (6th place)

CIS championship sequence: 21st appearance in 22 years (missed 2007)

NO. 6 DALHOUSIE TIGERS

Head coach: Rick Scott (8th season)

Regular season record: 14-3

Regular season standing: 1st AUS

Playoff record: 2-0

Playoff finish: AUS champions

Overall record vs. CIS teams: 22-3

Top 10 final ranking (Feb. 23): No. 8   

Top 10 best ranking: No. 7 (2 weeks)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (15 polls): 14

Conference award winners: None

Conference 1st team all-stars: Anna Dunn-Suen (LS), Abby Czenze (S), Jessica Josenhans (M)

Conference 2nd team all-stars: Mieke DuMont (LS), Marisa Mota (LIB)

Conference all-rookie team: Courtney Baker (RS/S)

CIS championship best result: Champions (1982)

CIS championship last appearance: 2015 (tied 7th place)

CIS championship sequence: 4th consecutive appearance

NO. 7 McGILL MARTLETS

Head coach: Rachèle Béliveau (25th season)

Regular season record: 15-7

Regular season standing: 2nd RSEQ

Playoff record: 2-3

Playoff finish: RSEQ finalists

Overall record vs. CIS teams: 32-14

Top 10 final ranking (Feb. 23): No. 9   

Top 10 best ranking: No. 4 (5 weeks)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (15 polls): 15

Conference award winners: Rachèle Béliveau (coach)

Conference 1st team all-stars: Yasmeen Dawoodjee (S), Myriam Robitaille (M), Catherine Amyot (PH)

Conference 2nd team all-stars: None

Conference all-rookie team: No rookie team in RSEQ

CIS championship best result: Bronze (2012)

CIS championship last appearance: 2012 (bronze)

CIS championship sequence: Return after 3-year absence

NO. 8 BRANDON BOBCATS

Head coach: Lee Carter (11th season)

Regular season record: 15-9

Regular season standing: 5th Canada West

Playoff record: 0-2

Playoff finish: Canada West quarter-finalists

Overall record vs. CIS teams: 20-21

Top 10 final ranking (Feb. 23): No. 10   

Top 10 best ranking: No. 10 (1 week)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (15 polls): 1

Conference award winners: None

Conference 1st team all-stars: None

Conference 2nd team all-stars: Donata Huebert (LIB)

Conference all-rookie team: None

CIS championship best result: First appearance

CIS championship last appearance: First appearance

CIS championship sequence: First appearance

CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (all times CENTRAL TIME)

Thursday, March 10

8:00 All-Canadian Breakfast (Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre)

Friday, March 11

12:30 Quarter-final #1: McGill vs. Toronto (WCGtv / www.CIS-SIC.tv)   

14:30 Quarter-final #2: Dalhousie vs. UBC Okanagan (WCGtv / www.CIS-SIC.tv)    

18:00 Quarter-final #3: Brandon vs. Trinity Western (WCGtv / www.CIS-SIC.tv)    

20:00 Quarter-final #4: UBC vs. Montreal (WCGtv / www.CIS-SIC.tv)    

Saturday, March 12

12:30 Consolation #1: Loser QF #1 vs. Loser QF #2 (WCGtv / www.CIS-SIC.tv)    

14:30 Consolation #2: Loser QF #3 vs. Loser QF #4 (WCGtv / www.CIS-SIC.tv)    

18:00 Semifinal #1: Winner QF #1 vs. Winner QF #2 (WCGtv / www.CIS-SIC.tv)    

20:00 Semifinal #2: Winner QF #3 vs. Winner QF #4 (WCGtv / www.CIS-SIC.tv)    

Sunday, March 13

13:00 5th place (WCGtv / www.CIS-SIC.tv)   

15:00 Bronze medal (WCGtv / www.CIS-SIC.tv)    

18:00 Championship final (WCGtv / www.CIS-SIC.tv)    

About Canadian Interuniversity Sport

Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Every year, over 12,000 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 56 universities and four regional associations vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit www.cis-sic.ca or follow us on:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CIS_SIC  

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cissports

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/universitysport

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/CIS_SIC

For further information, please contact:

Michel Bélanger        

Communications & Media Relations

Canadian Interuniversity Sport

T: 613-562-5670 ext. 25

C: 613-447-6334

E: belanger@universitysport.ca

Matt Packwood

Brandon University

T: 204-727-7375

C: 204-570-0842

E: packwoodm@brandonu.ca