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Canadian Interuniversity Sport – OTTAWA (CIS) – The McMaster University Marauders are seeded No. 1 going into the CIS men’s volleyball championship for the second straight year, and this time they hope home-field advantage will help them capture the first Tantramar Trophy in program history.

Championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/mvball/index

The seeding was announced on Sunday night for the historical 50th staging of the national tournament, presented by Leggat Auto Group. The eight-team competition gets under way on Thursday at McMaster’s Burridge Gym in Hamilton and concludes on Saturday with the gold-medal final at 6 p.m. All 11 contests will be webcast live on www.CIS-SIC.tv

Rounding out the seeding behind the reigning four-time OUA champion Marauders are the No. 2 Trinity Western Spartans (Canada West champs), No. 3 Laval Rouge et Or (RSEQ champs), No. 4 UNB Varsity Reds (AUS champs), No. 5 Saskatchewan Huskies (Canada West finalists), No. 6 and defending two-time CIS titlist Alberta Golden Bears (Canada West bronze medallists), No. 7 Ryerson Rams (OUA finalists) and No. 8 Waterloo Warriors (OUA bronze medallists).

Thursday’s quarter-final matchups include Ryerson vs. Trinity Western in the 1 p.m. opener, Alberta vs. Laval at 3 p.m., Saskatchewan vs. UNB at 6 p.m., as well as Waterloo vs. McMaster at 8 p.m.

The Marauders earned No. 1 status thanks to an impressive 18-2 regular season, followed by back-to-back straight-set wins over Waterloo and Ryerson at the OUA Final Four. A year ago in Saskatoon, McMaster had to settle for CIS bronze as the top seed after being upset by Trinity Western in the semifinal round of the national tourney.

Thanks to a stellar 23-1 record in league play, the Golden Bears topped the national rankings heading into this year’s playoffs but the reigning CIS champs were shocked 3-0 by TWU on Friday in the Canada West semis.

Alberta is the most decorated program at this week’s championship with eight Tantramar Trophy titles. Laval (4), Saskatchewan (4) and Trinity Western (3) have also been crowned in the past.

Schools currently competing in the Canada West conference have claimed 20 of the past 21 CIS banners, the lone exception over that period being Laval in 2013.

NOTES: In men’s volleyball, the four conference champions are automatically seeded one through four for the CIS tournament… Prior to this year, no team had been seeded No. 1 in back-to-back seasons since Alberta in 2008 and 2009… The CIS championship has been held in Hamilton three times in the past, including in 2007, 2006 and 1979… A complete championship preview will follow on Tuesday… The CIS all-Canadians and major award winners will be announced on Wednesday morning.

SEEDING

1. McMaster Marauders (OUA champions & Hosts: 18-2 regular season / 2-0 playoffs)

2. Trinity Western Spartans (CWUAA champions: 14-10 regular season / 4-1 playoffs)

3. Laval Rouge et Or (RSEQ champions: 14-3 regular season / 2-1 playoffs)

4. UNB Varsity Reds (AUS champions: 9-8 regular season / 2-1 playoffs)

5. Saskatchewan Huskies (CWUAA finalists: 15-9 regular season / 3-2 playoffs)

6. Alberta Golden Bears (CWUAA bronze medallists: 23-1 regular season / 1-1 playoffs)

7. Ryerson Rams (OUA finalists: 14-6 regular season / 2-1 playoffs)

8. Waterloo Warriors (OUA bronze medallists: 11-9 regular season / 2-1 playoffs)

CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

Wednesday, March 9

7:30 All-Canadian Breakfast (Sheraton Hamilton Hotel)

Thursday, March 10

13:00 Quarter-final #1: Ryerson vs. Trinity Western (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

15:00 Quarter-final #2: Alberta vs. Laval (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

18:00 Quarter-final #3: Saskatchewan vs. UNB (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

20:00 Quarter-final #4: Waterloo vs. McMaster (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

Friday, March 11

13:00 Consolation #1: Loser QF #1 vs. Loser QF #2 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)   

15:00 Consolation #2: Loser QF #3 vs. Loser QF #4 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)   

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

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

Saturday, March 12

13:00 5th place (www.CIS-SIC.tv)   

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

18:00 Championship final (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

Fraser Caldwell

McMaster University

T: 905-525-9140 ext. 24458

C: 905-518-9937

E: caldwef@mcmaster.ca