Dan Khavkin, Cougar Athletics
CALGARY- No. 5 nationally ranked Mount Royal men's volleyball will take on the no. 1 Brandon Bobcats tonight to kick off the Canada West semi-finals. These two teams will compete for an automatic berth to the national championships in Laval, QC. The loser will put their hope in two wild card spots based on a U SPORTS national ranking algorithm.
The Cougars broke a new ceiling on their road to program history last weekend after their 2-0 quarter-final victory on home court over no.10 Saskatchewan Huskies.
With the convincing sweep (3-0, 3-1), the Cougars victories set up the first ever Canada West semi-final appearance in program history.
Last weekend in the other quarter-final, Brandon drew the Calgary Dinos and made quick work of their opponent, winning six sets to one to set up a semi-final between two heavyweight contenders.
The Cougars handed Brandon their only two losses on the year in early November but the Bobcats responded with an epic 16-game tear to conclude the season to finish 20-2 and as the nation's top men's volleyball program.
The formidable Canada West conference that has had 19 of the past 20 national champions, and feature seven of the national top-10 ranked programs. These teams battled against one another last weekend as second-ranked Trinity Western was taken the distance by seventh placed UBC, while ninth place Thompson River WolfPack upset number six Alberta to move on to the final four.
The Cougars or Bobcats await the winner between No.2 Spartans and the hungry WolfPack. Both series will compete in a best two-out-of-three series in consecutive days from Thursday February 28th to March 2nd.
The scenario of a Mount Royal and Thompson Rivers win, would put the Canada West Final at Kenyon Court in Calgary.
First-serve is scheduled for tonight at 6:00 PM MST in Brandon, MB and the action can be watched on CanadaWest.tv.