OTTAWA (ISN) – For the first time in four years, the University of Alberta Pandas head into the CIS women’s volleyball championship as tournament favourites.
Championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wvball/index
The seeding was announced Sunday for the 2012 CIS tourney set to get under way Friday at McMaster University in Hamilton. The eight-team competition concludes next Sunday, March 4 with the gold-medal at 4 p.m.
SSN Canada will have live webcasts of all 11 matches, including the main and consolation brackets.
Rounding out the seeding behind newly-crowned Canada West champion Alberta are the reigning four-time national champion UBC Thunderbirds (Canada West finalists), No. 3 Montreal Carabins (RSEQ champions), No. 4 Saint Mary’s Huskies (AUS champions), No. 5 McGill Martlets (RSEQ finalists), No. 6 Trinity Western Spartans (Canada West bronze medallists), No. 7 Queen’s Gaels (OUA champions) and No. 8 McMaster Marauders (championship hosts).
Alberta secured its No. 1 status thanks to a five-set upset win against UBC in Saturday night’s Canada West final in Vancouver. The last time the Pandas were established tournament favourite for the CIS championship, in 2008, they settled for fourth place. However, the previous year, they claimed the seventh banner in program history as the top seed.
On Friday, top-ranked Alberta will face host McMaster at 8 p.m. in the last quarter-final match-up of opening day, while UBC will open its title defence against Queen’s at 3 p.m.
The other first-round contests will see Montreal battle Trinity Western at 1 p.m. and Saint Mary’s face McGill at 6 p.m.
UBC holds the all-time mark with eight CIS women’s volleyball banners, one more than Alberta and Winnipeg. The Pandas and Winnipeg share the record for most consecutive national titles, with six, two better than the T-Birds’ current run.
Note: A complete championship preview will follow on Tuesday.
1. Alberta Pandas (CWUAA champions: 14-6 regular season / 4-0 playoffs)
2. UBC Thunderbirds (CWUAA finalists: 18-2 regular season / 1-1 playoffs)
3. Montreal Carabins (RSEQ champions: 12-3 regular season / 2-0 playoffs)
4. Saint Mary’s Huskies (AUS champions: 16-1 regular season / 2-0 playoffs)
5. McGill Martlets (RSEQ finalists: 5-10 regular season / 2-3 playoffs)
6. Trinity Western Spartans (CWUAA bronze medallists: 13-7 regular season / 3-1 playoffs)
7. Queen’s Gaels (OUA champions: 13-5 regular season / 3-0 playoffs)
8. McMaster Marauders (Championship hosts: 11-7 regular season / 0-1 playoffs)
NOTE: Live webcast of all games on SSN Canada.
Wednesday, February 29
18:30 All-Canadian Awards Gala (Crowne Plaza Hotel)
Thursday, March 1
9:00 – 17:00 Team practices (55 minutes per team)
Friday, March 2
13:00 Quarter-final #1: No. 3 Montreal vs. No. 6 Trinity Western
15:00 Quarter-final #2: No. 2 UBC vs. No. 7 Queen’s
18:00 Quarter-final #3: No. 4 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 5 McGill
20:00 Quarter-final #4: No. 1 Alberta vs. No. 8 McMaster
Saturday, March 3
13:00 Consolation #1: Loser quarter-final #1 vs. Loser quarter-final #2
15:00 Consolation #2: Loser quarter-final #3 vs. Loser quarter-final #4
18:00 Semifinal #1: Winner quarter-final #1 vs. Winner quarter-final #2
20:00 Semifinal #2: Winner quarter-final #3 vs. Winner quarter-final #4
Sunday, March 4
11:00 5th place
13:00 Bronze medal
16:00 Championship final