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Laval defeats McMaster for CIS men's volleyball title

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The Canadian Press
3/3/2013 9:07:57 PM
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QUEBEC -- The No. 5-seed Laval Rouge et Or captured the CIS men's volleyball championship on home court Sunday with a 3-1 victory over the No. 3 McMaster Marauders.

It was Laval's fourth Tantramar trophy in school history and first since 1994, ending an 18-year domination from the Canada West conference.

Laval beat three higher-ranked teams en route to the title, including the No. 4 Alberta Golden Bears, top-seeded Brandon Bobcats, and McMaster.

"It is pure happiness," said second-year Laval coach Pascal Clement.

"Those kids were brave and they dared. I didn't remember that feeling, it's been too long. It is so big, and even more because it's at home. I've been with this group of players for four years now, and because it's their last match, I am very happy for them."

Laval took the first frame 26-24, as the noisy crowd disrupted McMaster's servers. However, the Marauders led 16-12 at the break in the second and never let their lead go, winning the set 25-22 and levelling the match 1-1.

Leading 21-19, the Marauders committed three straight fouls, the last two on out-of-bounds hits. Clement then inserted middle Anthony Campbell, who made two crucial blocks to give Laval the set by a score of 25-22.

McMaster rallied in the fourth to cut Laval's lead to 21-20, but powerful strikes by Tommy Belisle allowed the hosts to serve for the championship at 24-21.

Belisle was selected player of the match for Laval, while the honour went to middle Dany Demyanenko for McMaster.

Laval's middle Jeremie Lortie of Ottawa was chosen tournament MVP.

For McMaster, the silver medal is the best result in program history. The Marauders' previous best finish was fourth in 2009.

In the bronze medal match, the Bobcats rallied for a 3-2 win against the Western Mustangs.

It was the Bobcats' third medal in as many CIS volleyball tournament appearances. The Canada West champions were finalists in 2011 and bronze medallists in 2009.

Brandon trailed by two sets and 22-20 in the third before turning the match around and winning 21-25, 34-36, 25-23, 25-18, 15-12.

"After set two, we told our guys we worked too hard this year to let it go now. It was time to empty the gas tank and put everything we had into it and thankfully the boys did," said Brandon's head coach Grant Wilson.

"It was really important to bounce back and win the bronze medal. We came here to win, and losing twice in a row would not have been the way we wanted for sure. Today was our gold medal and thankfully we pulled it out."

Middle Dan Boutwell was selected player of the match for the Bobcats and Garrett May received the same honour for the Mustangs.

Laval men's volleyball (Photo: Yan Doublet)

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(Photo: Yan Doublet)
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