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Feb 27, 2015

Photo credit Josh Schaefer Photography

SASKATOON (CIS) – With a straight set 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-19) victory over the Dalhousie University Tigers in Friday’s first semifinal at the Physical Activity Complex in Saskatoon, the University of Alberta Golden Bears will have an opportunity to defend its CIS Men’s Volleyball Championship title.

With the win, the Golden Bears advance to its second straight championship final and fourth in eight seasons against the winner of the McMaster Marauders/Trinity Western Spartans semifinal Saturday night. Dalhousie will play for bronze.

Leading Alberta to the return to the final was 2014 CIS Tournament MVP Ryley Barnes. The fourth-year left side recorded a match-high 17 kills and 19 points for the evergreen and gold. He also added two digs and two solo blocks in the effort. Middle Taylor Arnett added another nine kills for the Bears and four blocks (three solo, two assisted).

“I thought Dalhousie was a very well coached team and I knew we had to play pretty much error free,” said Alberta head coach Terry Danyluk, of his semifinal opponent. “They have good ball control, have a good setter, they are good defensively and good off the service line. For us, I thought the big thing was to keep our errors down, which I thought we did. I have no preference to the team we play next. I just hope the team we get wants to play us.”

Two-time CIS All-Canadian Bryan Duquette led the Tigers in the loss with 12 kills and six digs. Matthew Donovan and Alex Dempsey added another six kills each.

Alberta’s John Goranson tied the first set at 16, starting a four point run by the Golden Bears. Dalhousie turned the tables with a 4-1 run after a Kristen O’Brien attack. But a string of Tigers’ errors including two service errors and attacks that sailed long gave Alberta the 25-22 win.

Three straight Dalhousie errors gave Alberta a 12-10 lead in the second set. Trading points until 14-13, Kevin Proudfoot sparked the Golden Bears to take a 17-13 lead with a kill and a block. Dalhousie continued to stay close in the set but Alberta’s Ryan Nickifor and Barnes froze the Tigers with attacks to take a 23-18 lead. Barnes ended the set 25-21.

Sensing a return to the championship final, an Alberta four-point run gave the Bears a 22-18 lead. An attack error returned the ball to the Tigers but Barnes painted the line twice and Arnett found a hole in the middle to end the match 25-19.

Dalhousie head coach Dan Ota says his Tigers were strong until a break at the technical timeout in the match.

“I think we let them get a bit more separation (after the technical timeout),” he said. “When they get a few point lead they really turn it up a another gear and we weren’t able to recover in the three sets we lost. I think ultimately that is what cost us. Alberta’s middles were very effective. Hopefully, we will be able to recover and learn something from tonight and make sure we are better for tomorrow.”

First serve in the championship final is 7 p.m. (CST), while the bronze medal match is slated for 4 p.m. (CST).


Kills: Ryley Barnes (12), Taylor Arnett (9)
Points: Ryley Barnes (19)
Blocks: Taylor Arnett (4)
Digs: Reed May (9)
Service aces: None

Player of the match: Ryley Barnes

Kills: Bryan Duquette (12)
Points: Bryan Duquette (12.5)
Blocks: Connor Maessen (2.5)
Digs: Bryan Duquette (6)
Service aces: Connor Maessen (1)

Player of the match: Jonathan Macdonald


Thursday, February 26
13:00 Quarter-final #1: No. 2 Dalhousie 3, No. 7 York 2 (25-23, 25-19, 25-27, 16-25, 15-13)
15:00 Quarter-final #2: No. 3 Alberta 3, No. 6 Waterloo 0 (25-14, 25-12, 25-22)
18:00 Quarter-final #3: No. 5 Trinity Western 3, No. 4 Laval 0 (25-14, 25-14, 25-19)
20:00 Quarter-final #4: No. 1 McMaster 3, No. 8 Saskatchewan 0 (26-24, 25-20, 25-18)

Friday, February 27
13:00 Consolation #1: York 3, Waterloo 2 (25-20, 22-25, 25-16, 23-25, 16-14)
15:00 Consolation #2: Saskatchewan 3, Laval 1 (19-25, 26-24, 25-15, 25-14)
18:00 Semifinal #1: Alberta 3, Dalhousie 0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-19)
20:00 Semifinal #2: Trinity Western vs. McMaster (

Saturday, February 28
14:00 5th place: York vs. Saskatchewan (
16:00 Bronze medal: Dalhousie vs TBD (
19:00 Championship final: Alberta vs TBD (