June 20,2014(ISN) – VANCOUVER, BC – Following last month’s release of the 2014 football schedule, Canada West announced the 2014-15 season schedules for all the remaining sports today on the recently relaunched website, CanadaWest.org.
The upcoming season may be the most compelling in recent history, as MacEwan University enters the fray as a probationary member, while UBC, Alberta, Manitoba and Trinity Western get set to defend their respective CIS championships. The Griffins will be competing in women’s and men’s basketball, cross country, soccer and volleyball.
Mount Royal University and the University of Northern BC also begin their first seasons with full Canada West membership status.
BASKETBALL. 2014 Canada West conference champions and CIS bronze medalists Alberta Golden Bears highlight the tipoff weekend on Halloween night as they host Saskatchewan. This will be just as interesting on the women’s side, as the Huskies begin to defend their conference title on the road against a top rival in the Pandas.
All teams on the new Pioneers Division except for UBC will be on display on the weekend ofOctober 31, as Manitoba, Winnipeg, Brandon and Victoria open at home as well.
The following weekend will debut the newly-formed Explorers Division, as Mount Royal visits MacEwan, UNBC travels to Thompson Rivers, and Fraser Valley goes on the road against UBC Okanagan.
The Vikes renew their provincial rivalry on the Thunderbirds’ home opener weekend onNovember 7-8. Another marquee matchup is Alberta and Victoria on November 28-29, when they face each other for the first time since last season’s men’s conference final and CIS bronze medal game.
The Canada West playoffs begin with a play-in best of 3 series on February 20-22. The quarterfinals take place on February 27 – March 1, setting up the Canada West Final Four onMarch 6-7.
The CIS Final 8 will be on March 12-15, with Ryerson hosting the men’s teams and the women’s settling the championship in Laval.
SOCCER. The UBC Thunderbirds’ CIS and Canada West men’s title defense begins against their arch-rivals in Victoria, while the reigning women’s CIS champions TWU Spartans host the Fraser Valley Cascades on Friday, September 5. The Alberta Pandas look to repeat as Canada West women’s champions when they open their season versus the Calgary Dinos on Saturday, September 6.
New additions to both the men’s and women’s leagues are MacEwan in the Prairies Division, and Thompson Rivers and UBC Okanagan in the Pacific Division.
The regular season finale is on Sunday, October 19, after which the top four teams in each division advance to the Canada West quarterfinals on Saturday, October 25 at the home fields of the top two seeds each from the Prairies and the Pacific.
Men’s Final Four will be held at the top remaining seed from the Prairies Division, while the women’s will have theirs at the highest remaining seed from the Pacific Division. Both are set for October 31 – November 1.
The CIS soccer season culminates on November 6-9 at Prince Edward Island (men’s) and Laval (women’s).
VOLLEYBALL. Opening night of Canada West volleyball action is on Thursday, October 9 with the Manitoba Bisons beginning their CIS title defense against the Calgary Dinos. The rest of the league open on the following day, October 10, as MacEwan gets its first taste of conference play when they welcome UBC to Edmonton. The UBCO Heat gets first crack at the defending CIS men’s champions Alberta Bears on what promises to be another highly competitive season in the Canada West.
Manitoba and UBC get reacquainted on Friday, November 7, after the Bisons defeated the Thunderbirds for the 2014 CIS women’s crown last March, thwarting UBC’s attempt at a seventh straight title which would have set a new CIS record.
Postseason action begins on the weekend of February 13-15 with the Canada West quarterfinals. Final Four is on February 20-21 at the home court of each league’s top seed.
Saskatchewan plays host to the CIS men’s championships from February 26-28, while the women play for the national championship in Toronto from February 27-March 1.
ICE HOCKEY. The best of Canada West men’s hockey will be representing the country in the 2015 International University Sports Federation (FISU) Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain, resulting in two bye weeks after the Canada West regular season finale on January 30 and before the playoff quarterfinals begin on February 20.
The puck drops for conference play on the weekend of September 25-27, with the Lethbridge Pronghorns hosting the Mount Royal Cougars on Thursday night. Alberta hopes to duplicate last season’s CIS and conference title run, and their road back to the University Cup in Halifax begins in Vancouver against UBC on Friday, September 26. The Dinos look to build on last year’s second place finish in conference play, starting with a visit from the Bisons on the same night.
The Saskatchewan Huskies will try to avenge their CIS championship loss to the Bears when they visit Alberta on Friday, October 17.
The women’s league will not have to work around the FISU tournament so their season starts on Friday, October 3, with Regina, UBC, Lethbridge and Calgary all opening at home.
The Regina Cougars are looking to bounce back from the heartbreaking double overtime loss to the Huskies in the 2014 Canada West women’s final when they play Manitoba on the opening weekend.
The Canada West semifinal best-of-3 series for both men’s and women’s will span fromFebruary 27 – March 1. Winners advance to decide the Canada West championship at the higher-rank team’s home ice on March 5-7 for men’s and March 6-8 for women’s.
The CIS championships will be on March 12-15 in Halifax (men’s) and Calgary (women’s).
RUGBY. Alberta, Calgary, Lethbridge, UBC and Victoria get the scrum started on the opening of the Canada West women’s rugby season on the weekend of September 19-21. With only one round of games against their conference foes, each game has massive postseason repercussions, starting with the 2013 first runner-up Calgary Dinos taking on UBC on Friday, September 19. Rugby powerhouses Alberta Pandas and Lethbridge Pronghorns each try to get a leg up on the competition when they open their seasons against each other on Saturday, September 20.
The Canada West playoffs will be hosted by Calgary on October 17 (semifinals) and October 19(finals). The CIS championships will be at Guelph from October 30 – November 2.
Click here for the complete rugby schedule.
FIELD HOCKEY. The Vikes ride the momentum from winning the Canada West women’s field hockey championship to Calgary when the three-team league commences conference play onSaturday, September 13. Three-time defending CIS champion UBC sits out the first weekend of action, before they get their first test on Week 2, when they host their rivals from Victoria onSeptember 20.
If there is a tie at first place after the six-week regular season, the Canada West championship will be determined on October 25-26.
The CIS championship will be hosted by the Ontario University Athletics from October 30 – November 2.
Click here for the complete field hockey schedule.
OTHER CHAMPIONSHIPS. Other marquee dates on the Canada West 2014-15 season are as follows:
The CIS cross country championship will take place in Saskatchewan on Saturday, November 8.
The Canada West swimming championship will be decided in a three-day tournament in Lethbridge from November 21-23. The CIS champions will be crowned in Victoria on February 19-21.
Wrestlers from Canada West tangle in Calgary on February 13-14 to determine this season’s conference champions. The CIS championship will take place two weeks after, in Alberta onFebruary 27-28.
Manitoba hosts this season’s track & field Canada West tournament on February 27-28. The CIS champions will be crowned in Windsor on March 12-14.