BU’s Victoria Dakin hammers a kill in the Bobcats women’s volleyball tournament over the weekend. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
Teams are taking notice of the Brandon University Bobcats volleyball teams’ pre-season success.
Both Bobcat squads cracked the first Canadian Interuniversity Sport top 10 rankings of the season, with BU’s men’s squad ranked fifth in the country and Brandon’s women’s team starting the year in sixth position.
While pre-season rankings won’t help a team get to nationals or anything, they are a nice feather in the program’s cap, according to Bobcats men’s volleyball coach Grant Wilson.
"Yeah, for sure," said Wilson, whose team won the University of Regina Cougar Invitational last weekend and has compiled a 5-1 pre-season record. "Obviously the goal is to always be one of those top-ranked contending teams and if our peers are voting us to be up that high, then obviously they see us as being one of those competitive teams and that certainly is something we want to strive for."
However, Wilson is quick to caution not to read too much into the rankings at this point.
"I think the pre-season rankings can be somewhat misleading as most teams are kind of tinkering with their rosters and playing a few different teams in different situations," he said. "I think some of it perhaps is weighted on what took place last year and some of it on what is happening now, so I’m not sure how accurate it really is."
Wilson’s team will get a good pre-season test this week when they travel to Quebec City for their final pre-season tournament in which they will face the host Laval Rouge-et-Or, the team that beat the Bobcats in last year’s national semifinals.
Meanwhile, Lee Carter’s Bobcats women’s volleyball squad is idle this weekend after sweeping all four of its matches at its home tournament last weekend to improve to 7-3 in pre-season play and earn a top-10 ranking.
"Any time you’re ranked in the top 10 it’s exciting, but it’s still pre-season and we’ve only really played Manitoba and Winnipeg (for CIS competition), so we really don’t know we stack up with the rest of Canada West," said Carter, whose team plays its final pre-season match on Thursday night in Portage la Prairie against the Winnipeg Wesmen. "Everybody is just kind of projecting where everybody fits in right now and come the middle of December everything will kind of work its way out."
Both Bobcat teams open the Canada West regular season by facing Regina, Oct. 25 and 26 at BU’s Healthy Living Centre.
This weekend, both Bobcats basketball squads will host the Dakota College Lumberjacks of Bottineau, N.D., on Friday and Saturday at the HLC as part of BU’s Homecoming Weekend. Friday’s games are slated for 6 p.m. (women) and 8 p.m. (men), with BU’s new Sports Wall of Fame slated to be unveiled on Saturday (11 a.m.), prior to two more games against the Jacks at 1:30 p.m. (women) and men (3:30 p.m.).
The Bobcats women’s team is 4-2 in pre-season play, while the BU men are 2-3.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 16, 2013