Men’s Volleyball (CIS National Championship Semi-Final)
Saturday, March 03, 2007
TWU Spartans (2) vs. the University of Alberta Golden Bears (3)
(25-23, 23-25, 22-25, 25-23, 15-12)
BEARS TO FINAL, SPARTANS TO PLAY FOR BRONZE
-For first time since 2004 TWU will not be playing in championship match.
HAMILTON (CIS) - The fourth-seeded Alberta Golden Bears avenged a straight-set loss at the hands of Trinity Western in last year's national final defeating the No. 1-ranked Spartans in a five-set marathon (25-23, 23-25, 22-25, 25-23, 15-12) Saturday night in the second semi-final of the 2007 CIS men’s volleyball championship.
“This is the first time where we have been in a position where we were the team to beat, whether it is this year or at the tournament. It’s a different feeling and will have to assess it and learn how we can be better when we are the team to beat,” commented TWU Head Coach Ron Pike.
Championship website (complete stats): www.cisport.ca/e/championships/m_volleyball/2007
With the win, the Bears continue their amazing streak of recent success at the nationals, advancing to the CIS gold-medal game for the sixth straight year. “The reality is that this team, this year wanted to win a national championship and Alberta was going to be in our way, whether it was in the final or the semi-final,” commented Pike on having to play Alberta in the semi-final for the first time in three years.
Alberta, which dominated Canada West in the regular season with a 17-1 record before suddenly dropping both matches at the conference Final Four, will try to capture its third Tantramar Trophy in six years on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern (live on The Score) against the No. 3 Winnipeg Wesmen, who swept UBC in straight sets in the early semi-final. Winnipeg beat Alberta 3-2 a week ago in the Canada West bronze-medal game.
The Bears and Wesmen last met in the national final in 2002, with Alberta prevailing in five sets.
The defending champion Spartans will try to go for a fourth CIS medal in as many years at 12:30 p.m. against UBC. TWU claimed bronze in 2004 and silver in 2005 before winning its first-ever Tantramar Trophy a year ago. The Spartans defeated the Thunderbirds 3-1 in the conference final last week. “Tomorrow is going to be a tough match. UBC is still in a building phase as they are getting better and for us it is a bit of a let down not being in the final for the first time in three years. It’s going to take a real character effort. But the good part is that we have a number of players with character in the room,” commented Pike on his team playing in the bronze medal match tomorrow against UBC.
Derek Proudfoot (Edmonton) was named Player of the Game for Alberta with 15 kills and two solo blocks, while Jeffrey Stel (Langley, B.C.) earned the honour for Trinity Western with 18 kills and 9 digs.
Brock Pehar's (Oakville, Ont.) serving gave the Alberta Golden Bears an early 3 - 0 lead, stretching it to 6 - 1 with spectacular defence from Senior Libero Justin Wong (Edmonton). A Josh Howatson (Victoria) kill went off Wong's shoulder and stayed in play, followed by another Wong dig in the early points. Strongman Steve Rogalsky (Maple Ridge, B.C.) pounded a ball cross court that Wong got a hand on and Joel Schulmand (Calgary) finished off. Not to be outdone, Howatson displayed some fine defensive work with a huge dig of Schmuland on the next play. Following the technical timeout Alberta made two straight blocks only to watch a Seth Schalk (Red Deer, .Alta.) tip hit the floor, bringing Trinity Western within 3 points, 8 - 5. Trinity continued to play well, taking their first lead of the game, 11 - 10 thanks to a Josh Doornenbal (Edmonton) ace that Wong couldn't reach and Alberta took a timeout. The Spartans took a 16 - 15 lead out of the second technical timeout, extending it with a powerful Rogalsky ace. Alberta took back the lead, 24 - 22. An Alberta ball handling error put Rogalsky at the service line with a chance to bring his team back. Instead he misfired hitting the ball into the net, 25 - 23 Alberta wins the first set.
Trinity Western looked to rebound quickly in the second set, taking a 4 - 2 lead that would be rendered obsolete by the time Thomas Jarmoc (Calgary) dropped the hammer to give Alberta an 8 - 7 lead at the technical timeout. Alberta stretched their lead to 12 - 9 before a number of hitting errors kept Trinity Western close, eventually conceding the lead 17 - 16. Trailing 21 - 19, the Golden Bears took a timeout, closing the gap to 22 - 21, but that was as close as they got. Adam Kaminski would serve into the net, giving the Spartans a 25 - 23 win.
Despite two huge swings from Howatson, the Golden Bears led 6 - 2 early until Rogalsky served TWU back into the game and a 7 - 7 tie. TWU's Stel would provide a chance for both teams to talk strategy sending the game into a timeout with a kill from the back row. Proudfoot would tie the game at 12 - 12 with a huge solo block of Howatson. Adam Kaminski (Chatham, Ont.) did the same thing to tie the game at 15 - 15. Kaminski then made another solo block following an amazing Schmuland dig. Chaim Schalk (Red Deer, Alta.) answered back a few plays later, making a key solo block of Jamoc that sent the ball straight down and forced a Golden Bears timeout down 20 - 17. The Bears blocked their way back into the game but Seth Schalk would use that block give TWU a 23 - 21 lead. A huge Trinity Western kill over the block would give TWU the third set 25 - 22 and a 2 - 1 lead.
“We never got in control, but I felt [good] when we took the second set [to go up 2-1], but we didn’t do the things to really jump on them in the fourth. Our serving just wasn’t as effective as has been in other games and in the end we ended up just giving a very explosive team the ball and they ended up just running over us at will,” said Coach Pike.
Down 4 - 3 early, Howatson proved that even the best players make mistakes, pounding a step-around off the signage surrounding the court. Proudfoot then hit a ball straight down from the rafters to take a 5 - 4 lead. The Spartans would keep the game close, taking the lead 8 - 7 at the technical timeout. Alberta would even the score and surge ahead 14 - 11 for a moment with Rogalsky's serve off the net falling for an ace to tie the game 14 - 14. Another surge from the Golden Bears, including two massive kills from Tim Gourlay (Grand Prarie, Alta.) would give them a 20 - 16 lead. Howatson would respond with a kill up the middle before anyone could react, rattling the Alberta team who called a timeout up 20 - 19. Long serves from Howatson and Rogalsky would end any opportunities that Trinity Western had to put the game away in four sets. Schmuland drilled a ball down the line and off the TWU defender for a 25 - 23 set victory.
Jamoc and the Bears opened the fifth set with a kill that left the fans jaws on the floor, and followed that with a monster solo block to take a 2- 0 lead. The Golden Bears held a 6 - 5 lead until Rogalsky ripped a ball off the block for his 22nd kill of the game. TWU would take their first lead of the final frame 8 - 7 at the technical timeout, the fifth 8 - 7 lead of the game and the third for Trinity Western. The teams traded points, tied at 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, before Schmuland blocked the ball and it rebounded off Seth Schalk (Red Deer, Alta.) who was standing outside of the court, 14 - 12 Alberta. Refusing to give up, Chaim Schalk made a spectacular set with a tight ball but was unable keep himself from drifting under the net and giving the game to Alberta 15 - 12, and 3 - 2.
Alberta's Schmuland had 20 kills to lead the way while Proudfoot and Jarmoc added 15 each. Brock Pehar ran the Golden Bear offence with 57 assists. On the Trinity Western side of the net, it was Rogalsky's 23 kills that led the way. Stel added 18 kills while Chaim Schelk had 53 assists running the offence.
Points: Joel Schmuland (22)
Kills: Joel Schmuland (20)
Blocks: Adam Kaminski (5)
Digs: Justin Wong (13)
Assists: Brock Pehar (57)
Player of the Game: Derek Proudfoot
Trinity Western Spartans
Points: Steve Rogalsky (27)
Kills: Steve Rogalsky (23)
Blocks: Josh Howatson (3)
Digs: Seth Schalk (10), Mark Lindemulder (10)
Assists: Chaim Schalk (53)
Player of the Game: Jeffrey Stel
SEEDING, SCHEDULE & RESULTS (all times ET)
1. Trinity Western Spartans (Canada West champions)
2. UBC Thunderbirds (Canada West finalists)
3. Winnipeg Wesmen (Canada West bronze medalists)
4. Alberta Golden Bears (Canada West semi-finalists)
5. Dalhousie Tigers (AUS champions)
6. Laval Rouge et Or (QSSF champions)
7. Queen's Golden Gaels (OUA champions)
8. McMaster Marauders (OUA finalists)
Friday, March 2
Quarter-final #1: No. 2 UBC 3, No. 7 Queen's 0 (25-23, 25-16, 25-14)
Quarter-final #2: No. 3 Winnipeg 3, No. 6 Laval 1 (25-20, 19-25, 25-22, 25-22)
Quarter-final #3: No. 4 Alberta 3, No. 5 Dalhousie 1 (25-22, 20-25, 25-19, 25-18)
Quarter-final #4: No. 1 Trinity Western 3, No. 8 McMaster 2 (23-25, 25-27, 25-23, 26-24, 15-9)
Saturday, March 3
Consolation #1: No. 6 Laval 3, No. 7 Queen's 1 (25-17, 18-25, 25-18, 25-20)
Consolation #2: No. 5 Dalhousie 3, No. 8 McMaster 1 (21-25, 25-22, 25-15, 25-19)
Semi-final #1: No. 3 Winnipeg 3, No. 2 UBC 0 (27-25, 25-16, 25-19)
Semi-final #2: No. 4 Alberta 3, No. 1 Trinity Western 2 (25-23, 23-25, 22-25, 25-23, 15-12)
Sunday, March 4
10:30 5th place: No. 6 Laval vs. No. 5 Dalhousie
12:30 Bronze medal: No. 1 TWU vs. No. 2 UBC
15:30 Championship final (live on The Score): No. 3 Winnipeg vs. No. 4 Alberta