Men's volleyball captures first ever ACAC league title

Nigel Mullan | Feb 15, 2011

Two Briercrest Clipper teams are playoff bound! Both the men’s volleyball and men’s basketball teams have qualified for post-season action!

<strong>Volleyball</strong>
The Briercrest men’s volleyball team capped off a great regular season with two convincing wins at home against the then second-place SAIT Trojans, to capture the first ever first-place regular season finish for any Briercrest team since joining the ACAC! The guys will take that number one ranking into the ACAC Conference Championship Tournament, where they will compete against the other top seven teams in the league in a Final Eight tournament.

As the number one seed, Briercrest will face the eighth seed in the first round of the tournament, which is the quarter-final round, and takes place February 24th - 26th. The eighth seed team will be determined this weekend, as Medicine Hat College hosts Grande Prairie Regional College in a best of three qualification weekend, where the winner moves on to take the eighth and final spot in the ACAC Conference Championships. The seventh seed is also being played-off for, as Lethbridge College host Keyano College in their best of three.

The gold and silver medal winning teams from the ACAC Conference Championships will advance to the CCAA National Championships in Gatineau, QC, which will be held from March 10 – 13th. Briercrest is the favorite heading into the ACAC tournament, but will face stiff competition in every round. The ACAC is the toughest conference in the CCAA, with five teams in the top 14 at the end of regular season for the CCAA National Rankings. Briercrest is second in the country, while NAIT, King’s, Red Deer, and SAIT own the number five, 10, 12, and 14 rankings respectively. The number-one ranked team in Canada is UBC-Okanagan Heat, who is the top team from the BC conference.

The women’s volleyball team wrapped up their season on a positive note, with two strong performances against the playoff-bound SAIT Trojans. They ended up with a split weekend, winning Friday’s contest 3 – 1, but losing by the same score on Saturday. The Clippers missed playoffs by a pair of wins, but had a strong building season, winning six of their last 15 matches.

The Clippers’ Alexis Loewen followed up her solid rookie season with another great year this year. She led the entire ACAC in blocks and blocks per game for the second straight season. She was  also in the top ten for kills and top 15 for kills per game, which is a big accomplishment for a middle player. Her attacking success was due in large part to the great setting of captain Aryn Currie.  Carlee Leclerc finished the season as the league-leader in aces and aces per game, despite missing the last four games of the season with a sprained PCL.

<strong>Basketball</strong>
The Briercrest men’s basketball team is in playoffs for the first time in four seasons! They finished off their regular season with a split weekend, which saw them defeat the King’s University College Eagles on Friday night, but then suffer a close loss to the Lakeland College Rustlers, who are the number nine ranked team in Canada, on Saturday evening. Despite the loss, the Clippers are looking forward to a playoff run ahead.

Right now, Briercrest is awaiting the results of the final weekend of regular season play, which will take place this coming weekend. The Clippers, who have a bye this weekend, will find out after this weekend games, who they play in the qualification round of playoffs . The qualifying round will be a one-game playoff, from which the winner will move on to the ACAC quarter-finals, which will be a best of three weekend.

The Briercrest women’s team finished up their season on the road with a pair of losses. They faced off against King’s University College and Lakeland College. The Clippers finished in sixth place in the ACAC South, and out of the playoffs.

Briercrest’s Valerie Robinson had a career season, finishing in the top five in four out of six stats categories. She was fourth in scoring, second in field goal percentage and rebounds, and tied for first in blocks per game. With those numbers, Robinson should be a strong candidate for the ACAC All-Conference team this year, which will be announced later this month.

<strong>Hockey</strong>
Briercrest hockey finished up their season hosting the Augustana Vikings. The third place Vikings took both games, which left the Clippers finishing in seventh place and four points out of the playoffs.

Dare Mably and Craig Cornelson both had strong seasons for the Clippers, finishing in the top 14 scorers in the league, with 26 points each. Jarren Schultz finished up a strong five-year career with an 18 point season.