Cougar's men's volleyball become first MRU athletic program to qualify for the U SPORTS National Championship

Cougar's men's volleyball become first MRU athletic program to qualify for the U SPORTS National Championship

TORONTO (U SPORTS) – The Brandon Bobcats have been named men's volleyball tournament favourites in the lead-up to an action-packed weekend of #CHAMPSZN.

First serve of the 2019 U SPORTS Men's Volleyball Championship Presented by Hôtel Universel Quebec, hosted by the Laval Rouge et Or in Quebec City, flies on Friday at the Amphithéâtre Desjardins-Université Laval. The tournament concludes next Sunday with the championship final at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT. All games will be live streamed at USPORTS.LIVE. 


Thursday, Mar. 14

All-Canadian Awards Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. ET / 4:30 a.m. PT

Friday, Mar. 15 (Quarterfinals)

No.  1 Brandon vs. No. 8 Montreal, 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT
No. 4 Mount Royal vs. No. 5 Alberta, 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT
No. 2 Trinity Western vs. No. 7 McMaster, 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT
No. 3 Laval vs. No. 6 Queen's, 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT

Full championship schedule available here.

No. 1 Brandon Bobcats

Playoff Finish: Canada West champions
Regular Season/playoff records: 20-2 / 5-1
Last U SPORTS Championship: Never

No. 2 Trinity Western Spartans

Playoff finish: Canada West finalists
Regular season / playoff records: 18-4 / 4-2
Last U SPORTS championship: 2017
Total U SPORTS championships: 5

No. 3 Laval Rouge et Or

Regular season / playoff records: 16-0 / 4-0
Last U SPORTS championship: 2013
Total U SPORTS championships: 4

No. 4 Mount Royal Cougars

Playoff finish: Canada West semifinalists / At-large berth
Regular season / playoff records: 15-7 / 3-2
Last U SPORTS championship: Never

Team leaders

Kills per set: Tyler Schmidt, 4.61
Blocks per set: Scott Gieske, 1.01
Assists per set: Tanner Greves, 9.56
Digs per set: Jonathan Phillips, 2.63

The Mount Royal Cougars put together the best season in program history finishing fourth in the conference with a 15-7 record. The Cougars were consistently ranked in the top ten of U SPORTS and got to as high as third. They had a very consistent year, never losing more than two games in a row. MRU was tough to play at home with an 8-2 record, including a sweep of the number one Brandon Bobcats.

Their team was led by fifth–year Tyler Schmidt who broke multiple Canada West records in the last weekend of the regular season. He became the all-time leader in career points and kills and was awarded a Canada West first team all-star. MRU's setter Tanner Greves was a second team all-star and Louis Lange was on the all-rookie team. Men's volleyball is the first Mount Royal athletic program to qualify for a national championship since joining U SPORTS.

No. 5 Alberta Golden Bears

Playoff finish: Canada West quarterfinalists / at-large berth
Regular season / playoff records: 17-5 / 0-2
Last U SPORTS championship: 2015
Total U SPORTS championships: 8

Team leaders

Kills per set: Taryq Sani, 3.73
Blocks per set: Jacob Deinum, 0.87
Assists per set: Max Elgert, 9.28
Digs per set: Jared Schubert, 1.84

Despite failing to qualify for the conference semifinal for the first time since 1988, the Golden Bears advanced to the U SPORTS Championship for the 19th straight season.

The Golden Bears finished third in Canada West with a 17-5 record, and were continually ranked inside the top seven in the U SPORTS rankings. However a poor showing in the quarterfinal against Thompson Rivers saw them get swept 2-0 at home.

Alberta has captured eight national titles, seven of which under Terry Danyluk, and are looking for their first since winning back-to-back in 2014 and 2015.

The Bears are led by fifth-year First Team All-Star Alex McMullin, who finished the season as one of only five Bears ever to finish their career with 1,000 kills. Third-year Taryq Sani also finished with another all-star season, leading the team with 3.73 kills per set.

No. 6 Queens Gaels

Playoff finish: OUA champions
Regular season / playoff records: 15-3 / 3-0
Last U SPORTS championship: Never

No. 7 McMaster Marauders

Playoff finish: OUA finalists
Regular season / playoff records: 15-2 / 2-1
Last U SPORTS championship: Never

No. 8 Montreal Carabins

Playoff finish: RSEQ finalists
Regular season / playoff records: 12-4 / 2-2
Last U SPORTS championship: 1970
Total U SPORTS championships: 1