York to host annual volleyball tourney this weekend

The 31st annual Excalibur Volleyball Classic runs this weekend at the Tait McKenzie Centre and will feature seven Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) squads, including the York Lions men’s volleyball team, and a team from the Ontario Volleyball Association (OVA).

Also on the home schedule is a men’s hockey game against the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) Ridgebacks on Thursday evening and a women’s volleyball game against crosstown rivals the University of Toronto Varsity Blues on Sunday night.

Right: York Lions’ captain Jordan Matthews in a game earlier this season

At the Excalibur Classic, the eight teams, coming from Ontario University Athletics (OUA), Canada West, the Quebec Student Sports Federation (QSSF) and the OVA’s men’s open division, have been split into two pools of four. In Pool A, the host Lions will face off against conference rivals the Laurier Golden Hawks, the QSSF-leading Laval Rouge et Or and the OVA’s Toronto Ruffriders, while Pool B will feature the OUA-leading Western Mustangs, the OUA’s Ryerson Rams, the Sherbrooke Vert et Or of the QSSF and the Brandon Bobcats from Canada West. For a complete tournament schedule, click here.

The top-ranked team at the tournament is undefeated Laval, a squad that climbed into the top spot in the national rankings on Dec. 1 after posting a perfect record through nine games, and the only team yet to lose a game this season. Brandon and Western are also currently among the nation’s top 10; the Bobcats sit in eighth spot and the Mustangs are 10th.

To follow the results of all the matches, click here for updated scores throughout the weekend.

Tickets are available at the door for $10/day for adults and $7/day for students, while children 12 and under are free. Tournament passes can be purchased on Friday for $25 (adults) and $15 (students).

The men’s hockey team (8-8-1) will play its first game of 2010 on Thursday night against the visiting UOIT Ridgebacks (6-9-1). Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm at Canlan Ice Sports. In their last meeting, also at York, the Lions edged out a 5-4 victory over their division rivals.

Rounding out the weekend are the women’s volleyball Lions, who are currently in first place in the OUA East with a 6-2 record. They will face off against the Varsity Blues at 6pm, following the conclusion of the championship game for the Excalibur Classic. Toronto is just two points behind York in the standings at 5-4.

Submitted by Alyson Fisher, sport & recreation information officer with Sport York