GAELS LEAPFROG GEE-GEES IN WOMEN'S SOCCER RANKINGS; MARAUDERS NO. 2 IN MEN'S VOLLEYBALL

OTTAWA - Reigning national champion Alberta, UBC and UNB top the first CIS rankings of the 2009-10 season in men's volleyball, women's volleyball and men's hockey, respectively.

In men's volleyball, the two-time defending champion Golden Bears, who have played in the last eight CIS finals, winning four of them, open at No. 1 for the third straight year. Alberta has now topped the last 34 national coaches polls going back to November of 2006 (1 for 1 in 2009-10, 13 of 13 in 2008-09, 12 of 12 in 2007-08, last 8 polls of 2006-07).

The Bears, who went 12-0 in the pre-season including a 6-0 mark against CIS opponents, kick off conference play this weekend with a pair of home tilts against the No. 4-Calgary Dinos, Friday and Saturday. The regular schedule also gets under way this week in Ontario, while AUS teams join the action on Oct. 31 and Quebec schools on Nov. 6.

Rounding out the first men's volleyball Top 10 of the campaign are No. 2-McMaster, No. 3-Laval, No. 5-Manitoba, No. 6-UBC, No. 7-Dalhousie, No. 8-Brandon, No. 9-Winnipeg and No. 10-Trinity Western.

In women's volleyball, the two-time defending gold-medallist Thunderbirds are ranked No. 1 for the first time since January of 2003.

UBC opens ahead of No. 2-Montreal, which led all 13 national polls last season before settling for bronze at the CIS championship, and No. 3-Manitoba, which topped all 14 polls in 2007-08.

The top-ranked T-Birds kick off the regular season this weekend when they host Winnipeg, Friday and Saturday. Conference play got under way on Oct. 16 in the OUA with Western defeating Laurier in straight sets. AUS teams hit the floor this weekend, while the Quebec schedule is set to start on Oct. 30.

Rounding out the first women's volleyball Top 10 of the fall are No. 4-Calgary, No. 5-Alberta, No. 6-Laval, No. 7-Regina, No. 8-Trinity Western, No. 9-McGill and No. 10-UNB.

In men's hockey, the reigning University Cup champion Varsity Reds open at No. 1 for the second time in three years. UNB dominated UPEI 10-0 and Moncton 9-3 in the first weekend of AUS regular-season action.

Perennial powerhouse Alberta, which led the first 13 national polls a year ago before falling behind UNB in the final Top 10, begins the campaign No. 2. The Golden Bears, who hold the all-time record of 13 University Cup titles, are off to a 3-0-1 start in Canada West conference play.

Rounding out the initial men's hockey media poll are No. 3-Manitoba (4-1-1), No. 4-UQTR (3-0), No. 5-Saint Mary's (1-0), No. 6-Brock (4-0), No. 7-Lakehead (3-0-1), No. 8-McGill (2-0), No. 9-UBC (3-0-1) and No. 10-Waterloo (3-0-1).

In other national rankings this week, Montreal takes over at No. 1 from Trinity Western in both women's and men's soccer, while defending CIS champion Lethbridge, McGill and Guelph hold on to No. 1 in women's rugby, women's hockey and women's and men's cross-country, respectively.      

In women's soccer, the Carabins (10-0) had been second behind the Spartans (9-1) in the first seven polls of the season. Montreal was No. 1 in the last seven rankings a year ago before claiming CIS bronze.

In men's soccer, the Carabins (7-1-1) return to the top of the rankings they had occupied for two weeks earlier this fall, before the Spartans took over in the last three polls.

In women's rugby, the two-time defending CIS champion Pronghorns are No. 1 for the seventh time in seven polls in 2009.

Lethbridge, which finished the regular season with a perfect 4-0 record, faces Victoria Friday in a Canada West semi-final. A win would earn the Pronghorns a spot in Sunday's conference final and a berth in the CIS championship to be hosted by UBC, Nov. 6-8.

In women's hockey, the Martlets (2-0), who lead the Top 10 for the third time in as many weeks, blanked Ottawa 6-0 on Saturday to extend their overall win streak against CIS opponents to 56 games going back to a 2-1 shootout loss to Alberta on Dec. 30, 2007. Alberta holds the CIS record of 67 consecutive overall victories.

McGill has been ranked No. 1 in each of the past 32 national polls dating back to November, 2007.

In cross-country, the Gryphon women and men, both three-time defending national champions, top the two polls for the third straight week.

Guelph swept the team banners Saturday at the Queen's Invitational held on the Fort Henry course, where Queen's will host the CIS championships on Nov. 14.

WOMEN'S CROSS-COUNTRY
(votes) / (previous rankings)

1. Guelph (98.7 points) / (1)
2. McMaster (72) / (2)

3. Calgary (65.3) / (3)
4. Toronto (61.3) / (4)
5. StFX (59.3) / (5)
6. Victoria (39.3) / (6)
7. Western Ontario (34.7) / (7)
8. Queen's (31.3) / (10)

9. Laval (29.3) / (8)
10. Manitoba (18.7) / (9)

MEN'S CROSS-COUNTRY
(votes) / (previous rankings)

1. Guelph (96.9 points) / (1)
2. Windsor (84.4) / (2)

3. StFX (76.9) / (5)
4. Calgary (59.4) / (3)
5. Victoria (50.0) / (4)
6. Regina (38.1) / (8)
7. Queen's (34.4) / (9)
8. Toronto (30.0) / (7)
9. Western Ontario (28.1) / (6)
10. McMaster (14.4) / (10)


WOMEN'S HOCKEY
(regular season record) / (previous rankings)

1. McGill (2-0) / (1)
2. Wilfrid Laurier (2-0) / (2)
3. Alberta (4-0) / (5)
4. StFX (2-0) / (6)
5. Manitoba (0-2) / (3)
6. Moncton (1-1) / (4)
7. Guelph (3-1) / (7)
8. Queen's (4-0) / (9)

9. Saskatchewan (4-0) / (8)
T10. York (1-1) / (10)
T10. Saint Mary's (2-0) / (NR)
T10. Toronto (1-1) / (NR)
T10. Montreal (2-0) / (NR)

MEN'S HOCKEY
(regular season record) / (votes) / (previous rankings)

1. UNB (2-0) / 166 points / (-)
2. Alberta (3-0-1) / 135 / (-)
3. Manitoba (4-1-1) / 95 / (-)
4. UQTR (3-0) / 80 / (-)
5. Saint Mary's (1-0) / 78 / (-)
6. Brock (4-0) / 77 / (-)
7. Lakehead (3-0-1) / 76 / (-)

8. McGill (2-0) / 61 / (-)
9. UBC (3-0-1) / 40 / (-)
10. Waterloo (3-0-1) / 33 / (-)

Other teams receiving votes: Acadia (26), Wilfrid Laurier (25), StFX (18), Saskatchewan (12), Western Ontario (5), Nipissing (4), Carleton (4).

WOMEN'S RUGBY
(regular season record) / (votes) / (previous rankings)

1. Lethbridge (4-0) / 160 points / (1)
2. StFX (6-0) / 132 / (2)
3. Guelph (5-0 / 1-0 playoffs) / 126 / (3)
4. Laval (6-0) / 103 / (4)
5. Alberta (3-1) / 81 / (5)
6. McMaster (4-1 / 1-0 playoffs) / 77 / (6)
7. Western Ontario (3-2 / 1-0 playoffs) / 59 / (7)

8. Concordia (5-1) / 48 / (9)
9. Queen's (4-1 / 1-0 playoffs) / 28 / (10)
10. UBC (2-2) / 19 / (8)

Other teams receiving votes:  Saint Mary's (3), Ottawa (3), Trent (1), Waterloo (1).

WOMEN'S SOCCER
(regular season record) / (votes) / (previous rankings)

1. Montreal (10-0-0) / 39 points / (2)
2. Trinity Western (9-1-0) / 38 / (1)
3. Queen's (11-1-2) / 31 / (6)
4. Victoria (6-1-3) / 28 / (4)
5. Ottawa (10-2-2) / 24 / (3)
6. Dalhousie (6-0-3) / 18 / (7)
7. Laval (7-3-0) / 9 / (NR)
8. UPEI (7-1-1) / 8 / (NR)
9. York (9-2-1) / 7 / (NR)
10. Wilfrid Laurier (9-2-1) / 6 / (5)


MEN'S SOCCER
(regular season record) / points / (previous rankings)

1. Montreal (7-1-1) / 59 points / (2)
2. York (8-2-2) / 51 / (3)
3. Trinity Western (6-1-3) / 48 / (1)
4. Dalhousie (6-0-3) / 42 / (4)
5. Toronto (10-1-2) / 39 / (6)
6. UPEI (7-2-0) / 32 / (7)
7. UBC (7-3-0) / 28 / (8)
8. Alberta (5-1-4) / 17 / (5)
9. Windsor (7-1-4) / 10 / (NR)
10. Queen's (7-1-4) / 5 / (NR)


Other teams receiving votes: UNB, Guelph, Cape Breton, Laval.

WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL
(regular season record) / (votes) / (previous rankings)

1. UBC (0-0) / 60 points / (-)
2. Montreal (0-0) / 54 / (-)
3. Manitoba (0-0) / 49 / (-)
4. Calgary (0-0) / 47 / (-)
5. Alberta (0-0) / 42 / (-)
6. Laval (0-0) / 40 / (-)
7. Regina (0-0) / 34 / (-)
8. Trinity Western (0-0) / 31 / (-)
9. McGill (0-0) / 26 / (-)
10. UNB (0-0) / 25 / (-)

Next highest vote getters (11 to 15): Brandon (22), Waterloo (16), Western Ontario (12), Toronto (9), Sherbrooke (7).

MEN'S VOLLEYBALL
(regular season record) / points / (previous rankings)

1. Alberta (0-0) / 228.5 points / (-)
2. McMaster (0-0) / 180.5 / (-)
3. Laval (0-0) / 160 / (-)
4. Calgary (0-0) / 139.5 / (-)
5. Manitoba (0-0) / 106.5 / (-)
6. UBC (0-0) / 98.5 / (-)
7. Dalhousie (0-0) / 94.5 / (-)
8. Brandon (0-0) / 65.5 / (-)
9. Winnipeg (0-0) / 50 / (-)
10. Trinity Western (0-0) / 49.33 / (-)
 
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Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Fifty-two universities, 10,000 student-athletes and 550 coaches vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit www.universitysport.ca.

Source: CIS Communications
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