Brandonite Lisa Barclay was named a first-team All-Canadian at the CIS women’s volleyball championship on Wednesday night. (FILE PHOTO)
Souris native Rick Scott is at CIS nationals for the first time. (FILE PHOTO)
Brandonite Lisa Barclay goes into this week’s national championship as a first-team All-Canadian playing on the No.1-ranked team in the country looking to win its sixth straight title.
It doesn’t get any better than this for Barclay, a 6-foot-2 left-side player with the UBC Thunderbirds who was named last year’s championship MVP. She helped lead the T-Birds to a Canada West women’s volleyball title this year and a trip to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship in Sherbooke, Que.
"The feeling that you get when you qualify is super exciting," she said. "It never gets old."
Barclay, a third-year kinesiology student, has had another superb season, finishing third in the Canada West regular season by averaging 3.79 kills and 4.44 points per set. She helped lead UBC to a 21-1 record and a Canada West title and was named a conference all-star before adding first-team All-Canadian status on Wednesday to her list of accomplishments.
UBC enters nationals — which start today and wrap up on Saturday — as the No.1 seed, knowing they have a big target on their backs having won five national titles in a row. Barclay is determined to extend that run this year.
"It would be a perfect end to a really great season," said Barclay, whose team opens the championship against the Laval Rouge et Or. "To end it off with another national title would be amazing."
While Barclay has a lot of experience at nationals, Souris native Rick Scott does not.
The head coach of the Dalhousie Tigers is making his debut at the CIS championship, and couldn’t be prouder to be there. He took over the Tigers five seasons ago and has been busy rebuilding the program.
Everything came together this season as Dalhousie posted an impressive 16-2 record and went on to sweep the St. Mary’s Huskies in the Atlantic University Sport final. Scott is excited to be at nationals, coming in as the fifth seed.
"It’s very, very exciting," said Scott, who was named the AUS coach of the year. "I’m happy for my team and my girls. This is my fifth year with Dal and a number of girls have been with us for four years. To see them put in the work and the commitment they’ve had to achieve that goal is very rewarding and I’m very happy for them. Personally, I’m very excited to compete and try to win a national championship."
Dalhousie opens the tournament today against the Trinity Western Spartans, featuring Amy Ott, a player Scott coached while he was teaching in Selkirk. The Tigers won their last 14 matches of the regular season and two more in the playoffs. Dalhousie’s last loss came on Oct. 28 and the last time it lost a set was on Nov. 24.
Scott hopes to continue that roll at nationals, although he doesn’t want to look too far ahead.
"Our goal is to go in there and take it one game at a time," he said. "We have a good team. We’ve been ranked highly all season and worked our way up the rankings. … We’re looking forward to playing Trinity Western and winning that first match and getting into that final four."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 28, 2013