EDMONTON – Traveling west for the Canada West Championship, the second-seeded Alberta Golden Bears will look to upset the first-seeded Trinity Western Spartans on their home court in a single game conference final on Saturday.
Game time for the conference title match is set for 9:30 p.m. MST, and will be streamed live on Canada West TV presented by Co-Op.
Alberta advanced to the conference final after eliminating the UBC Thunderbirds after a hard-fought Game 3 win last weekend in their semifinal series at Saville. After convincingly winning Game 1 with a score of 3-0, the Bears dropped Game 2 to UBC in a tough five set match. Getting off to a slow start in Game 3, the Bears powered back to a 3-1 victory.
Meanwhile, the Spartans were also pushed to the limit before advancing to the finals by defeating the Brandon 3-1 in a third and deciding Game 3 match-up.
The Bears will look to win a record 15th conference title by knocking off the reigning U SPORTS champion Spartans.
Earlier this season
Starting the Canada West regular season at home, Alberta split their series with the Spartans. Dropping the first match to the Spartans 3-0, the Bears bounced back with a thrilling come-from-behind five-set victory the following night, with second-year outside-hitter Jordan Canham finished the night with 17 kills.
Being named to the Canada West All-Rookie team, Billy Johnstone was a powerhouse for the Bears during Game 3 of the conference semifinals, finishing the night with 12 kills, while attacking at a .733 percentage, adding one service ace and one dig. Johnstone will look to carry that momentum into this weekend’s final.
Sitting in second on the Bears in kills with 219, Canham has been a force all season. Canham was key for the Bears during their regular season match-up with the Spartans, finishing the series with a team leading 23 kills, while adding six digs and one ace.
Both team last met in the Canada West Finals in 2018, with the Spartans coming out on top with a 3-1 victory (25-16, 25-23, 14-25, 26-24) for their fifth conference title.
The Bears last Canada West title came in 2015, defeating the Spartans 3-1 (26-24,25-20,25-27,25-20), before going onto win the CIS Championship (now U SPORTS).