Manitoba Bison sweep Calgary Dinos for right to host Canada West Final Four

WINNIPEG – The Manitoba Bisons and the Regina Cougars completed sweeps of their Canada West women’s volleyball quarterfinal series on Saturday to set the stage for next weekend’s conference Final Four tournament.

The Bisons, Cougars, Trinity Western University Spartans and UBC Thunderbirds will gather in Winnipeg next weekend to determine the conference champion.

The Bisons defeated the Calgary Dinos 25-18, 25-21, 25-15 on Saturday night to complete a two-match sweep of their best of three quarterfinal.  With the victory the Bisons, ranked third nationally, earn the right to host the Final Four tournament next weekend.

The defending national champions and number-one ranked UBC Thunderbirds had a bye to the Final Four after a perfect 20-0 regular season and first spot in the conference.  However UBC is unable to host the Final Four because of the Winter Olympic Games.

The number-three ranked Bisons were led by Kristi Hunter and Ashley Voth who had 12 kills each. Voth also tied Bisons libero Nicole Hall with 12 digs, and setter Sam Loewen added 30 assists to the Bisons cause. Dinos’ setter Kathryn Moncks led her team with 23 assists and Raynell Lavertu chipped in with eight kills as well.

“I was proud of the way we played tonight,” said Bisons coach Ken Bentley. “We made some good adjustments during the game and we didn’t allow them much time to breathe. That was one of the things we talked about, we wanted to get on them early, and that’s what we were able to do.”

Meanwhile the Cougars, hosting their first playoff matches in 20 years this weekend, eliminated the Brandon Bobcats in two straight posting a 25-20, 25-16, 27-25 victory. 

On Friday the Trinity Western University Spartans eliminated the Alberta Pandas.

Meanwhile in the Atlantic conference St. Mary’s and St. Francis Xavier won their semifinal matches on Saturday over Acadia and the University of New Brunswick respectively.  The conference championship final between St. Mary’s and St FX is this afternoon in Halifax.

In the Ontario conference, McMaster defeated Waterloo in four games to join Queen’s, Toronto and Western, which all won their quarters on Friday, to the conference Final Four.

Besides the Atlantic championship match today, undefeated Université de Montréal face Laval Rouge et Or in game two of their Quebec conference final this afternoon in Quebec City.  Montreal won the opener on Friday.