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MVB: Bears onto CW Final after impressive Game 2 win over Huskies

EDMONTON – The Alberta Golden Bears are headed to the Canada West title game for the third straight year after a 3-0 (25-19, 25-12, 25-21 | 2-0 series) victory over the Saskatchewan Huskies in Game 2 of the CW Semi-Finals Saturday night at the Saville Centre.

It was an impressive showing from the #1 U SPORTS ranked Bears, who head to their 29th overall CW Final and will face the #4 Trinity Western Spartans (18-6, 4-0 playoffs). This will be the third-straight title meeting between the squads, with the Spartans taking the previous two.

“The guys came out to play,” fourth-year Alberta coach Brock Davidiuk said postgame. “We were real competitors, and I am proud of our composure and our identity tonight.”

The Bears were paced by another phenomenal game from First-Team All-Star Jordan Canham, who finished with a game-high 15 kills and a remarkable six service aces.

Huskies head coach Sean McKay was ever accountable in the loss, stating: “We had a couple guys that showed up, but that is about it. We did not show up [as a whole] to play a Canada West Semi-Final today and that is on me as a coach preparing them, so I have to do better.”

The Huskies season is certainly not done, where they will host the Calgary Dinos (12-12, 2-2 playoffs) next Friday for the CW Bronze game and a potential spot in the U SPORTS Championships.

The hosts picked right back up where they left off in Game 1, starting the first set with a 12-5 run that featured strong attacking (.700 hitting percentage) and a stalwart defence (Saskatchewan hit .125 during the run). The dominance did not stop there, however, as they maintained a seven-point lead for the majority of the frame. The Bears had four players record two or more kills in the set, an impressive showing of their attacking depth. They would take the first set 25-19 and headed to the second with a fistful of momentum.

An 8-3 Bears advantage to start the second necessitated a Huskie timeout early. Alberta’s service game was remarkable in the frame, scoring an astounding nine aces against just five errors. The Huskies play at the net improved, but the Bears were too defensively solid to let the visitors go on any sort of run. Led by two kills and five aces from Canham, the Bears took the set 25-12 and headed into the third looking to lock up a CW title game appearance.

Saskatchewan rebounded well to start the third frame, getting some effective attacks through the Alberta blockline. The all-conference Huskies Dylan Mortenson and Levi Olson turned the heat up for the visitors, but were matched by an equally impressive Alberta attack from the arms of Canham and rookie Jacob Sargent. And while it was the closest set of the night, the hosts were able to stave off a valiant Huskie effort for a 25-21 set and game win.

As for what is in store for the Alberta Golden Bears in next weekends championship, Davidiuk is looking to avenge the last couple results.

“We are looking forward to another classic Canada West matchup with us and Trinity. It has been the last three CW Finals and I hope our guys go into that with a chip on our shoulders, especially after last year’s near-miss.”

The Trinity Western Spartans will come to Edmonton for the single-game CW Final next Friday at 7:00 PM.

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