CHRIS JASTER/BRANDON SUN
The Brandon University Bobcats men’s volleyball team won bronze at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport men’s volleyball championship at Laval University in Quebec City on Sunday. They won 3-2 over the Western Mustangs.
QUEBEC CITY — The Brandon University Bobcats didn’t win the medal they hoped for at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport men’s volleyball championship at Laval University, but they were proud to get one in the end.
Garrett Popplestone is awarded his bronze medal for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport men’s volleyball championship. (CHRIS JASTER/BRANDON SUN)
Sam Tuivai sets up for a hit at Laval University on Sunday afternoon. (YAN DOUBLET/LAVAL UNIVERSITY)
The Canada West champion Bobcats had smiles on their faces as they came back from losing the first two sets of Sunday’s bronze-medal match against the Western Mustangs to cap their season with a 3-2 (21-25, 34-36, 25-23, 25-18, 15-12) victory.
"It’s always nice ending the season with a win," said fourth-year Bobcat middle Dan Boutwell, who was named Brandon’s player of the match. "We’re coming home with medals. Obviously we would have like gold, but bronze is still good."
Boutwell had 17 kills and nine blocks for Brandon. Roy Ching’s 18 kills led the Bobcats while CIS tournament all-star Sam Tuivai had 17. Garrett May had 24 kills for Western.
The Bobcats entered the tournament as the top seed and had hopes of winning their first-ever men’s volleyball national championship. However, their dreams of bringing a CIS banner to the Healthy Living Centre were dashed by the host Laval Rouge et Or, who were backed by 3,000 supporting fans, in Saturday’s semifinal. Laval emerged from that match with a 3-2 (21-25, 26-24, 24-26, 25-23, 15-13) win.
Brandon’s players and coaching staff felt they let down the community after the semifinal, but they hope Brandon will be just as proud of their bronze medal as they are.
"At the end of the day I know I am (happy with the bronze) and our team is," said BU coach Grant Wilson. "Hopefully everybody else is too."
This is the third medal for the Bobcats in three appearances at the national men’s volleyball championship. They won silver in 2011 and bronze in 2009.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 4, 2013