ALBERTA

Alberta defeats Western in men's national volleyball championship

03/01/2014 11:53 EST | Updated 05/01/2014 05:59 EDT
CALGARY - The Alberta Golden Bears are back on top of the men's volleyball world for the first time since 2009.

The Golden Bears defeated the Western Mustangs in straight sets on Saturday to capture the Canadian University volleyball championship.

Alberta downed Western 25-19, 25-17 and 25-16 for its seventh national championship in school history, and the first since back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009.

Jay Olmstead was named Golden Bears player-of-the-match in what was his final CIS competition.

"This is what I wanted since my first year and to get it in my last game … it's unexplainable," said Olmstead.

After sweeping Calgary in a best-of-three Canada West quarter-final, the Bears didn't lose a set at the conference Final Four and upended top-seeded Trinity Western to capture the conference banner.

With the top seed at the national tournament ousted, Alberta got through No. 8 Montreal in the quarter-final, then knocked off defending national champion Laval in Friday's semifinal.

"Resiliency," said Olmstead. "We just kept fighting and fighting and fixing and fixing and we just peaked at the right time. It's amazing."

Olmstead, a fifth-year senior from Edmonton, picked up nine kills for Alberta, while tournament MVP Tyley Barnes led the way with a dozen to go with eight digs. Matt McCreary had an efficient day with five kills on six swings, while fellow middle John Goranson also picked up five kills as the Bears kept the Mustangs defence off-balance and routinely went up against a single blocker.

Kevin Proudfoot recorded eight kills, adding a trio of service aces, a feat matched by Brett Walsh.

Western's run came to an end after a pair of emotional victories — a five-setter over Trinity Western in the quarter-final and a four-set upset of Ontario University Athletics champion McMaster in the semifinal.

Justin Scapinello was the Mustangs' player of the match after a 15-kill, five-dig performance, while Garrett May picked up 12 kills in a losing cause for Western.

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