A year after capturing their first national title as the top seed, the Trinity Western University Spartans are once again tournament favourites heading into the 2016 CIS women’s volleyball championship.
The Spartans open the CIS championship against host and No. 8-seeded Brandon in the quarter-finals on Friday.
The championship web site is english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wvball/index.
The three-day competition kicks off on Friday at Brandon University and culminates next Sunday with the gold medal final.
Rounding out the seeding behind Canada West champion TWU are the No. 2 Toronto Varsity Blues (OUA champions), No. 3 UBC Okanagan Heat (Canada West finalists), No. 4 Montreal Carabins (RSEQ champs), No. 5 UBC Thunderbirds (Canada West bronze medallists), No. 6 Dalhousie Tigers (AUS champs), No. 7 McGill Martlets (RSEQ finalists) and No. 8 Brandon Bobcats (hosts).
After going 20-4 in league play, the Spartans claimed their second straight Canada West banner last weekend thanks to a pair of thrilling five-set wins over Alberta and UBC Okanagan at the conference Final Four.
Trinity Western’s No. 1 seeding for the CIS championship marks the seventh in a row for Canada West teams and their 14th in the past 15 campaigns, the lone exception being Montreal in 2009.
In addition to TWU, UBC and Dalhousie are the only programs among this week’s contenders that have captured the CIS title in the past. The T-Birds hold the all-time record with 10 crowns, while the Tigers’ lone triumph dates back to 1982.
NOTEBOOK: Brandon is hosting the first CIS championship in school history, in any sport, and the host Bobcats are set to make their first-ever appearance at the national competition.
The CIS all-Canadians and major award winners will be announced Thursday morning.