After leading their respective teams to national titles, Kiera Van Ryk and Eric Loeppky are the conference’s first stars for the period ending Sunday, March 17.

Van Ryk led the underdog T-Birds to a U SPORTS Championship with a dominating weekend that earned her tournament MVP honours. The conference and national player of the year finished the championship with 71 kills and 44 digs.

Eric Loeppky was named the U SPORTS Championship MVP after putting home 45 kills and recording 12 aces in three matches. Loeppky and the Spartans capture the national title for the third time in four years with a 3-0 win over Brandon on Sunday.

The pair will now move on as the Canada West nominees for the U SPORTS  athletes of the week.

Game log: Friday, Mar. 15 – 32 kills, 2 service aces, 14 digs, 35 points in a 3-2 win over Trinity Western /  Saturday, Mar. 16 – 15 kills, 1 service ace, 17 digs, 17.5 points in a 3-1 win over Dalhousie / Sunday Mar. 17 – 24 kills, 3 service aces, 13 digs, 27.5 points in a 3-2 win over Ryerson

It was quite the week for second-year outside hitter Kiera Van Ryk. Named the 2019 U SPORTS Player of the Year on Thursday night at the All-Canadian awards gala, the Surrey, B.C. native and Canadian national team member went on to lead the Thunderbirds to their second national championship in three years. Her 71 total kills led all players in Edmonton. For her outstanding efforts, Van Ryk was named a tournament all-star and national championship MVP.

Going up against their arch-rival Trinity Western Spartans in a quarter-final on Friday, Van Ryk put up a career-high 32 kills, tying the Canada West record for most in a post-season match. She also added 14 digs and a pair of service aces.

In Saturday’s semifinal against the Dalhousie Tigers, Van Ryk led the match with 15 kills and 17 digs, helping punch UBC’s ticket to the final.

Van Ryk once again proved to be the deadliest player on the court with a match-high 24 kills in Sunday’s final along with 13 digs.

The Thunderbirds have made it two gold medals in the last three years and 12 overall in team history, adding to their record number of championships.

Game log: Friday, Mar. 15 – 12 kills (.176), 2 aces, 8 digs, 4 blocks in 3-1 win over McMaster /  Saturday, Mar. 16 – 22 kills (.611) 0 errors, 6 aces, 3 digs, 3 blocks in 3-2 win over Laval / Sunday Mar. 17 – 11 kills (.308), 4 aces, 4 digs, 1 block in 3-0 win over Brandon

Trinity Western outside hitter Eric Loeppky was named tournament MVP as he led the Spartans to a national championship title with a 3-0 win over No. 1 Brandon at the U SPORTS men’s volleyball championship this past weekend at Laval University in Quebec City.

The third year was outstanding over the weekend finishing 45 kills, 12 aces, 15 digs and eight blocks over the tournament.

In Saturday’s semi-final the first team All-Canadian had the performance of the tournament when he led TWU to the 3-2 come-from-behind win over host No. 3 Laval. Loeppky had 22 kills without committing an error to combine with six service aces for 29.5 points on the evening.

In the championship match on Sunday Loeppky led the Spartans to a dominant three game upset win over Canada West champion and No. 1 ranked Brandon University. Loeppky had 11 kills, four aces and four digs for 15.5 points in the quick final match.

In addition to being named tournament MVP, Loeppky was named Play of the Game in each of the team’s three matches.

The U SPORTS championship finals appearance was the fifth straight for TWU, while the win was the third in the last four year and the sixth overall since the Spartans joined Canada West in 1999.

Game log: Friday, Mar. 15 – 48 set assists, 10 digs, and one ace in 3-2 loss to UBC /  Saturday, Mar. 16 – 44 set assists, 12 digs, and one ace in 3-2 win over Montreal / Sunday Mar. 17 – 51 set assists, 13 digs, and two aces in 3-2 win over Toronto

Trinity Western fourth year setter Brie King (O’Reilly) led the Spartans to a fifth place finish at the U SPORTS national championship this past weekend in Edmonton, Alta.

The fourth year Langley, B.C. native finished the weekend with 143 set assists and 35 digs.

In Friday’s quarter-final King had 48 set assists, 10 digs and one service ace in the Spartans 3-2 loss to the UBC Thunderbirds.

On Saturday King finished with 44 set assists to go with 12 digs and one service ace in TWU’s 3-2 win over Montreal.

Then in Sunday’s consolation final the fourth year setter finished with 51 set assists, 13 digs to go with six kills (.455) in the Spartans 3-2 win over Toronto.

Game log: Thursday, March 14 – 1G-1A in 7-1 quarter-final win vs. Lehtbridge / Saturday, March 16 –3-0 semifinal win vs. Saskatchewan / Sunday, March 17 – 1G-1A in 4-2 loss to UNB in University Cup final

After opening the tourney with a goal and an assist versus Lethbridge, third-year forward Brandon Magee did his best to help Alberta defend their U SPORTS title in the national final.

Magee starred in both Alberta goals Sunday against the UNB Reds in the final, assisting on Steven Owre’s game-opening goal in the first, before scoring his own early in the third period.

Game log: Thursday, Mar. 14 – 2 goals, 5 shots, +1 in QF loss to Guelph /  Saturday, Mar. 16 – 1 goal, 6 shots in Consolation SF win over UPEI / Sunday Mar. 17 – 1 assist, +1 in Consolation final win over Toronto

While Bison women’s hockey didn’t get the result they hoped for coming into the 2019 U SPORTS Women’s Hockey Championship, they came away winners in the consolation bracket, finishing fifth place with a record of 2-1 at the tournament. Central to that success was the offensive leadership of fifth-year forward Alanna Sharman.

Sharman finished with three goals and an assist in three games at the championship, leading all players in the eight-team tournament in goals and scoring.

Her first two goals came in a difficult 3-2 quarterfinal loss to Guelph. Sharman scored first by burying a rebound that came off Gryphons goalie Valerie Lamenta. She followed that up with a gorgeous goal on a break, wristing the puck top shelf to tie the game at two.

In the consolation semifinals, Sharman scored once again. Facing host UPEI, the Winnipeg native scored Manitoba’s first goal of the game — banking the puck off of Panthers goalie Camille Scherger at an impossible angle.

In the consolation final against Toronto, Sharman set up the game-winner — breaking the puck into the zone, deking past two defenders, and passing off to fellow fifth-year Karissa Kirkup. The Herd would eventually win the game 2-0.

Sharman, a student in the Asper School of Business, finished her Bisons regular season career with the second-most points in program history (109) and is one of just 24 players in Canada West women’s hockey history to score over 100 points, playing in 115 games for Manitoba.

Game log: Friday, Mar. 15 – 11 kills, 2 aces, 5 digs, 1 block in 3-0 win over Montreal /  Saturday, Mar. 16 – 11 kills, 1 ace, 3 digs, 2 blocks in 3-2 win over Alberta / Sunday Mar. 17 – 4 kills, 2 aces, 4 digs & 2 blocks in 3-0 loss to Trinity Western

Robin Baghdady and the No. 1 ranked Bobcats earned the second silver medal in BU men’s volleyball history this past weekend as the U SPORTS national championship tournament in Laval.

After being named to the national all-rookie team before the tournament started, Baghdady was named to the tournament all-star team following Sunday’s final. He was also named player of the game in Friday’s opening quarterfinal win over Montreal in which he had a match-high 11 kills.