UBC men's volleyball team wins first national championship in 35 years

Mar 18 2018, 10:35 pm

It’s been a long time coming.

The UBC Thunderbirds are national champions in men’s volleyball, after a straight sets upset win over top-ranked, two-time defending champion Trinity Western University on Sunday.

Not only were none of UBC’s players born the last time the school won U Sports gold in men’s volleyball, neither were any of the coaches.

After taking the first two sets, No. 3 ranked UBC battled back from down 22-19, chipping away to tie the set at 23. Then down 25-24, they fought back once again, scoring on match point to win 27-25 – sending the team into a frenzy.

The 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 27-25) win over cross-town rivals, played at McMaster University in Hamilton, gave UBC their first title since 1983. It followed a semi-final win over No. 2 ranked Alberta – the same team that beat them in the Canada West playoffs.

Surrey’s Byron Keturakis was named tournament MVP.

โ€œIt feels pretty amazing,โ€ said team captain Irvan Brar. โ€œWe had a pretty solid game plan and we were confident coming into this game,” he said, adding that they were surprised to defeat Trinity Western in straight sets.

โ€œIโ€™m overwhelmed with pride, Iโ€™m just so happy for this group,” said head coach Kerry MacDonald. “These guys have worked so hard and really committed to everything weโ€™ve been trying to do with this program since I came on.โ€

UBC got good news on the women’s side as well on Sunday, as the third-ranked T-Birds captured bronze with a four-set winย (27-25, 19-25, 25-19, 25-16) over No. 1 ranked Calgary.

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