EDMONTON – The nation’s top volleyball conference returns to action Friday, October 20, as the 2017-18 Canada West men’s and women’s volleyball schedules were released Wednesday.
Returning to the court with titles to defend this season are a trio of teams, as the Trinity Western University Spartans men’s team looks to maintain their place atop both the conference and nation, while the Alberta Pandas are the defending CW women’s champs, and the UBC Thunderbirds enter the season aiming for a second consecutive U SPORTS women’s banner.
This season marks a significant change to the CW volleyball scene, as the number of playoff teams will rise from seven to eight, with best-of-three quarter-finals and semifinals then leading to a single-game championship. The conference eliminated the CW Final Four tournament in favour of a one-game championship hosted by the highest remaining seed through a vote of the membership earlier this year.
Additionally, if a third CW berth to nationals must be determined, the higher team to have lost in the semis will host the bronze medal game.
The changes replace the existing four-team championship tournaments, which had been in place since 2002-03.
The season all leads to the U SPORTS national tournaments, which are slated for March 15-18. McMaster hosts the men’s event in Hamilton, Ont., while Université Laval in Quebec City, Que. Hosts the women’s tourney.
Fans will have access to every conference game on the road to nationals this season on Canada West TV – the conference’s official streaming platform – as every men’s and women’s conference regular season and playoff game will be streamed in 2017-18.
A full list of package options will be available mid-August, when the conference unveils its new streaming platform, as part of the conference’s rebrand.