TORONTO (U SPORTS) – The Alberta Golden Bears (men's hockey), UBC Thunderbirds (women's hockey), Trinity Western Spartans (men's volleyball) and Alberta Pandas (women's volleyball) have all been named tournament favourites for the upcoming 2017 U SPORTS Championships, all part of #CHAMPSZN.
The seedings were announced Sunday for four U SPORTS Championships this week in men's hockey, women's hockey, men's volleyball and women's volleyball.
The 2017 U SPORTS Cavendish Farms University Cup will be hosted by the UNB Varsity Reds for the first time since welcoming back-to-back events in 2011 and 2012, while the Alberta Golden Bears host the 2017 U SPORTS FOG Men's Volleyball Championship for the first time since 2009. The Queen's Gaels and Ryerson Rams, hosts of the 2017 U SPORTS Women's Hockey Championship and 2017 U SPORTS Women's Volleyball Championship Presented By Jason Rinaldi, respectively, will organize the national competitions for the first time in program history.
The hockey tournaments both get under way Thursday – at the Aitken University Centre in Fredericton, N.B. (men's hockey) and the Strathcona Paper Centre in Napanee, Ont., (women's hockey), while the volleyball championships commence Friday at the Saville Community Sports Centre in Edmonton (men's volleyball) and the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto (women's volleyball).
Championship games are scheduled for 1 p.m. AT (12 p.m. ET) in men's hockey, 4 p.m. ET in women's volleyball, 7 p.m. ET in in women's hockey and 6 p.m. MT (8 p.m. ET) in men's volleyball. The semifinals (12 and 4 p.m. AT/11 a.m. and 3 p.m. ET Saturday) as well as the final of the University Cup will be broadcast live on Sportsnet 360 and SN Now.
Remaining games from all competitions will be webcast on USPORTS.LIVE.
NOTES: Complete championship previews will follow on Tuesday for men's and women's hockey, followed by men's and women's volleyball on Wednesday. The 2017 U SPORTS All-Canadian Awards galas are set for Wednesday evening for three of the four championships, with the men's volleyball All-Canadian Awards breakfast scheduled for Thursday morning.
2017 U SPORTS FOG Men's Volleyball Championship
(Saville Community Sports Centre, University of Alberta)
In search of their fifth Tantramar Trophy, the No.1 Trinity Western Spartans (Canada West champions) will be joined in Edmonton by the No.2 Manitoba Bisons (Canada West finalists), No.3 UBC Thunderbirds (Canada West bronze medalists), No.4 Laval Rouge et Or (RSEQ champions), No.5 McMaster Marauders (OUA champions), No.6 UNB Varsity Reds (AUS Champions), No.7 Alberta Golden Bears (Canada West 4th place/hosts) and No.8 Waterloo Warriors (OUA finalists).
The quarter-final matchups on Friday include Trinity Western vs. Waterloo in the 1 p.m. MT opener, followed by Laval vs. McMaster at 2:30 p.m. MT, Manitoba vs. host Alberta at 6:30 p.m. MT, as well as UBC vs. UNB at 8 p.m., MT.
The defending U SPORTS champion Spartans (21-3 regular season) earned No.1 status by knocking off Manitoba in a five-set thriller on the Bisons' home court, earning the team's second consecutive Canada West title and fourth overall. The two teams occupied the No.1 ranking in 12 of 16 coaches' polls this season.
Team (playoff finish: regular season record / playoff record)
1. Trinity Western Spartans (Canada West champions: 21-3 / 4-0)
2. Manitoba Bisons (Canada West finalists: 21-3 / 1-1)
3. UBC Thunderbirds (Canada West bronze medalists: 16-8 / 3-1)
4. Laval Rouge et Or (RSEQ champions: 15-2 / 2-1)
5. McMaster Marauders (OUA champions: 17-0 / 3-0)
6. UNB Varsity Reds (AUS Champions: 9-8 / 2-0)
7. Alberta Golden Bears (Canada West 4th place/hosts: 20-4/ 2-2)
8. Waterloo Warriors (OUA finalists: 9-8 / 2-1)
SCHEDULE & RESULTS (All times MT)
Thursday, March 16
8:00 a.m. 2017 U SPORTS Men's Volleyball All-Canadian Awards
Friday, March 17
1:00 p.m. Quarter-final #1: No.1 Trinity Western vs. No. 8 Waterloo (USPORTS.LIVE)
2:30 p.m. Quarter-final #2: No.4 Laval vs. No.5 McMaster (USPORTS.LIVE)
6:30 p.m. Quarter-final #3: No.2 Manitoba vs. No. 7 Alberta (USPORTS.LIVE)
8:00 p.m. Quarter-final #4: No.3 UBC vs No.6 UNB (USPORTS.LIVE)
Saturday, March 18
1:00 p.m. Consolation #1: Loser QF #1 vs. Loser QF #2 (USPORTS.LIVE)
2:30 p.m. Consolation #2: Loser QF #3 vs. Loser QF #4 (USPORTS.LIVE)
6:30 p.m. Semifinal #1: Winner QF #1 vs. Winner QF #2 (USPORTS.LIVE)
8:00 p.m. Semifinal #2: Winner QF #3 vs. Winner QF #4 (USPORTS.LIVE)
Sunday, March 19
12:00 p.m. 5th place (USPORTS.LIVE)
3:00 p.m. Bronze medal (USPORTS.LIVE)
6:00 p.m. Championship final (USPORTS.LIVE)