Coming off a strong first half, the Alberta Golden Bears Volleyball team added a pair of wins over top-ranked NCAA opponents this past weekend, at the 2019 Can Am Holiday Volleyball Showcase in Toronto.
In a revitalization of a tournament that used to be hosted by in Edmonton, eight of the top North American Volleyball programs competed in a four-day tournament at the PanAm Sports Centre in Toronto. The Golden Bears, along with the Trinity Western Spartans, McMaster Marauders, and Ryerson Rams represented U SPORTS, while Lewis University, Long Beach State, Ohio State and UCLA represented the NCAA.
Alberta earned wins over Ohio State (3-2) and Long Beach State (3-0), before dropping a five-set thriller to UCLA on New Year's Eve. Long Beach and Ohio State have combined to win the last four NCAA Men's national titles, with UCLA finishing second in 2018.
"The Can Am Challenge marked the beginning of the volleyball season in Edmonton back in the day." said Golden Bears general manager Terry Danyluk. "So many nights were sold out, and the atmosphere was great in Toronto. This is the top level of volleyball in our country outside of the national team, and it was a great way to showcase our sport."
The Bears will return to Canada West play on January 10th and 11th in Brandon. The 11-1 Bobcats sit atop the Canada West standings, one year after winning the 2019 Conference title. Alberta will also visit MacEwan and Saskatchewan in the New Year, while hosting Manitoba and Calgary in late January/early February.
The Canada West postseason will begin with the quarter-final series, February 14th - 16th.