The York University Lions men’s volleyball team will host the Windsor Lancers in an Ontario University Athletics (OUA) quarter-final match on Saturday afternoon with a berth at the Final Four Championships on the line.
The first serve is set for 4pm at the Tait McKenzie Centre and the game can also be seen live online on OUA.tv.
The Lions earned the second seed in the OUA East Division thanks to a 12-6 record and will face the 10-7 Lancers, the OUA West’s third seeds who posted their best record since finishing with 11 wins during the 2011-12 season. The Lions won the lone regular-season meeting between the two squads in a thrilling five-setter, coming back from two sets down to take the victory on the road. They also faced off three times in non-conference action throughout the year, with Windsor winning each of the contests.
The Lions are looking to avenge an upset loss in the quarter-finals last year, where they were the top seeds in the OUA East but were defeated in four sets by the Waterloo Warriors. They are seeking a Final Four berth for the first time since 2015, where they finished as the bronze medallists after defeating the Lancers in the third-place match that also sent the Lions to the national tournament. That year also represents the last time the Lancers reached the semifinals.
After winning six of their first seven matches before the December break, the Lions were less consistent in the second half but closed with a pair of victories over Trent and Toronto to generate some momentum heading into the playoffs. The Lancers, meanwhile, lost their last two contests, to Waterloo and Guelph, but before that recorded a big victory over the second-place Western Mustangs.
The Lions will rely on team scoring leader Andrew Shotbolt, an outside hitter who had a breakout campaign this season to tie for 10th in OUA scoring with 3.8 points per set. Starting setter Logan Mend, one of the best at his position in the conference and an OUA all-star last year, will use his experience and talent to lead the squad. He was seventh in the OUA in assists per set (9.18) while also scoring 1.6 points per set, the most of any setter in the conference.
Windsor had two players rank among the OUA’s top 10 in scoring in outside hitters Pierce Johnson and Brad Gyemi, who were sixth and seventh, respectively, in the conference with 4.2 and 4.1 points per game.
The winner of Saturday’s quarter-final match will advance to the Final Four Championships next weekend and face the winner of the contest between the nationally ranked McMaster Marauders and the Nipissing Lakers. As the team with the best record in the regular season, the five-time defending OUA titlist Marauders will host the championships should they win their match on Saturday.