Varsity Blues advance to first-ever CIS volleyball final
Canadian Interuniversity Sport – BRANDON, Man. (CIS) – No matter what happens on Sunday at the CIS Women’s Volleyball Championship, the Toronto Varsity Blues have already made school history.
The Varsity Blues bounced back after losing the first set to beat the UBC Okanagan Heat 21-25, 26-24, 25-22, 25-21 in their semifinal match on Saturday.
CHAMPIONSHIP WEBSITE: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wvball/index
Toronto, the second seed in the championship, will play the winner of Saturday night’s match between the Trinity Western Spartans and the UBC Thunderbirds. If the Varsity Blues win the final, they will be Ontario’s first CIS women’s volleyball champion since Western won the title in 1976 in Winnipeg.
The Varsity Blues made it to the semifinals last year before losing to the Alberta Pandas, and Toronto setter Madelyn Mandryk said they were determined not to let that happen again.
“You know what a terrible feeling it is to lose, so it gives you that extra motivation,” said Mandryk, who had 51 assists, one kill and four total blocks. “I know looking out at the court when we were down at times it was just a feeling that there’s no way we were going to lose this match.”
The Varsity Blues have lost the first set in both of their matches so far after beating the McGill Martlets in five sets in Friday’s quarter-finals. Toronto went undefeated in its conference in the regular season and playoffs, and head coach Kristine Drakich said her players’ confidence helps them through difficult times.
“This team really believes and trusts in what we’re doing and each one of them contributes so much,
Steve Manuel, the head coach of the third-seeded Heat, believes his team would have won if they had gotten the break they needed to win the second set on Saturday, but he also credited the Varsity Blues for playing “a flawless match from start to finish.”
The Heat made some history of their own just by making into to Brandon for the first CIS Women’s Volleyball Championship in the school’s history, and Manuel believes his team can learn by following the example set by Toronto.
“Nobody wins a national championship the first time they’re at it, ever,” said Manuel, whose team will play for the bronze medal on Sunday. “It just doesn’t happen. That’s a miracle if that happens. We were trying to do the impossible and we just came up a bit short.”
Caleigh Cruickshank led Toronto with 18 kills. Katie Wuttunee had 20 kill without making a single error for UBCO.
Complete Stats: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wvball/2016/championship
Kills: Caleigh Cruickshank (18), Alina Dormann (16)
Points: Caleigh Cruickshank (22), Alina Dormann (19)
Blocks: Tessa Davis, Bojana Radan (0,5)
Digs: Anna Feore (13)
Service aces: Caleigh Cruickshank (3)
Player of the match: Caleigh Cruickshank
Kills: Katie Wuttunee (20), Megan Festival (12)
Points: Katie Wuttunee (21), Megan Festival (12.5)
Blocks: Katy Klomps (0,6)
Digs: Kailin Jones (17)
Service aces: Michelle Jakszuk, Emily Oxland, Chandler Proch, Siobhan Fitzpatrick (1)
Player of the match: Katie Wuttunee
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE & RESULTS (CENTRAL TIME)
Friday, March 11
12:30 Quarter-final #1: Toronto 3, McGill 2 (18-25, 25-17, 25-27, 25-23, 15-13)
14:30 Quarter-final #2: UBC Okanagan 3, Dalhousie 0 (25-17, 25-10, 25-15)
18:00 Quarter-final #3: Trinity Western 3, Brandon 1 (25-23, 25-15, 23-25, 25-19)
20:00 Quarter-final #4: UBC 3, Montreal 1 (20-25, 25-20, 28-26, 25-20)
Saturday, March 12
12:30 Consolation #1: Dalhousie 3, McGill 1 (25-21, 17-25, 25-20, 20-25, 15-12)
14:30 Consolation #2: Montreal 3, Brandon 0 (25-15, 28-26, 25-20)
18:00 Semifinal #1: Toronto 3, UBC Okanagan 1 (21-25, 26-24, 25-22, 25-21)
20:00 Semifinal #2: Trinity Western vs. UBC (WCGtv / www.CIS-SIC.tv)
Sunday, March 13
13:00 5th place: Dalhousie vs. Montreal (WCGtv / www.CIS-SIC.tv)
15:00 Bronze medal: UBC Okanagan vs. loser SF#2 (WCGtv / www.CIS-SIC.tv)
18:00 Championship final: Toronto vs. winner SF#2 (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:
For further information, please contact:
Communications & Media Relations
Canadian Interuniversity Sport
T: 613-562-5670 ext. 25