Clippers win silver medal and advance to national championships
Not only did the Briercrest College Clipper Men’s Volleyball team bring home the silver medal this weekend at the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference championships, but as of Monday of last week, they also qualified for the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association National Championships as a “wild card” team.
“We play in the top division in the country,” said Kyle Matthies, who oversees Clipper Athletics at Briercrest College and Seminary. “We beat SAIT [the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology], who was ranked eighth in the country, and Red Deer, who was ranked fourth in the country. In the three sets in the gold medal match, only six points separated us from the number-one team in the nation. We felt we deserved the wild card berth.”
The Clippers went into the ACAC championship weekend (Feb 22-24) as the sixth seed. In order to win, they needed to beat four teams—and they almost did. On Friday, they played the SAIT Trojans and won the match in four games, which finished 25-21, 25-18, 29-31, and 25-16.
On Saturday, they met the Red Deer College Kings, the eight-time and defending ACAC and CCAA national champions. The Kings just barely won the first two games, which finished 38-36 and 25-23.
The Clippers were tired, but determined to win. They took the next two games 25-22 and 28-26, creating a need for a fifth and final game, which the Clippers won 17-15, making them the first team in nine years to knock the Red Deer College Kings out of the race for gold.
Their victory launched them to the gold medal game against the number-one-ranked team in the CCAA, the host Mount Royal College Cougars.
The match was incredibly close—the Clippers took each game to its limit, losing each by only two points: 29-27, 25-23, and 27-25.
They returned to campus with a silver medal, thrilled about their win. “Taking the silver medal in the conference championships is a significant accomplishment for the Clippers and Briercrest in general,” said Matthies.
Then, Monday morning, they got the news they had hoped for—they’d won a sought-after wild-card berth into the CCAA National Championships at Humber College in Etobicoke, ON, from March 7-9, 2008.
The Clippers have been seeded in the sixth spot heading into nationals and will face the Malaspina Mariners from Nanaimo, BC, in the first round.