T-Birds head to Alberta and cruise to three victories
The UBC women’s basketball team used the winter break to gear up for the second half of the season. They headed to Calgary this past weekend and won the Ranger Inspection Holiday Hoops tournament, going undefeated over their three games there. The Thunderbirds prevailed 77-51 over the University of Lethbridge and 55-48 over the University of Calgary, and capped off the tournament by defeating McMaster University 66-56 in the final game.
It was a strong team effort in all three games, which bodes well as the team heads into the second half of the season. Every player saw playing time over the weekend and contributed in some form. The standout performance came from fifth-year Leigh Stansfield, who had one of her best games as a T-Bird against McMaster, pouring in a career high 23 points to go along with seven rebounds.
“Leigh had a dominating outing and was efficient offensively and effective defensively,” said UBC head coach Deb Huband. “Overall, the team shows signs of growth and improvement and I’m excited for the second part of the season.”
It was a strong second half that propelled the ’Birds to a Canada West championship last season. Currently tied for second in the Canada West Pacific division thanks to their 7-3 record in league play, the T-Birds continue the regular season on Jan. 11 when they head to Winnipeg to take on the University of Manitoba.
They come back home the following weekend to face the University of Brandon and University of Regina on Jan. 18 and 19, respectively.
T-Bird volleyball continues strong play en route to a gold medal
The UBC men’s volleyball team continued their strong play by capturing the McDonald’s International men’s volleyball tournament at Thompson Rivers University this past weekend. The Thunderbirds went 2-1 during the tournament en route to the gold, winning over TRU and Pepperdine University, which is the No. 4 ranked team in NCAA Division 1 men’s volleyball.
The ’Birds dropped their first two sets against Pepperdine in the opener, but stormed back in the final three to win in five sets. Fifth-year David Zeyha led the way with 14 kills on 24 attacks; his play coming off the bench was instrumental in helping settle down the UBC offensive attack and lead the team to the comeback.
Pepperdine exacted some revenge the following day taking down the T-Birds three sets to one, but UBC was still able to make it to the final to take on TRU. in the gold medal game, UBC captured the first two sets against the Wolfpack before prevailing in four sets.
“I thought we played a little better tonight than we did yesterday against Pepperdine,” stated UBC head coach Richard Schick. “I thought we competed at a more consistent effort tonight other than the third set and I thought TRU put a lot of pressure on our servers in that third set.”
The CIS No. 6 ranked T-Birds are 8-4 on the regular season and are in fourth place in the Canada West. After a first half of the season that saw them play three of the top five teams in Canada, the second half will be a bit easier, which gives the T-Birds a shot at hosting a home playoff game.
UBC will carry their seven-game regular season win streak into their home series against the University of Winnipeg on Jan. 11 and 12. First serve is at 8 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively, at War Memorial Gym.