With the release of the new CIS Top Ten rankings, we break down the movers and the shakers among the nation's premier ball-volleying men.
What's new in this week's CIS national volleyball rankings? In a word, nothing. Following a weekend of games that went entirely to form, it is no surprise that the CIS opted for continuity in their seedings this week. With that in mind, this edition of the CIS evaluation will be a little more abbreviated than usual, with no movers of any kind to speak of. We'll dive straight into the special categories and the unofficial depths of the mock-rankings of yours truly.
THE GAME YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE MISSED (IN A WEEK YOU PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE):
Calgary v. Thompson Rivers (Match 1): In the only match up between seeded teams this past weekend, the #3 Dinos and #9 WolfPack met for a typical two-match series in Calgary, the first offering of which was an exceptionally tight affair. The visitors from Thompson Rivers would lose all three sets on Friday night, but pushed the hosts to the brink in each, losing all three sets by the minimum of two points. Unfortunately, that effort was all for naught, and the follow-up match the next night would not be nearly as hard-fought.
ONE TO WATCH:
Manitoba v. Calgary: Once again, I hate talking incessantly about the Dinos, but they provide the undoubted series of the week this time around, as they travel to Manitoba to take on the #5 Bisons. That matchup could very easily be a semi-final in the Canada West playoffs, and will go a long way toward determining whether Manitoba belongs in the top tier of Western teams.
THE ABSOLUTELY UNOFFICIAL CALDWELLIAN RANKINGS (CR)
1.) Calgary - need I say this again? The Dinos are 14-0. A big test awaits them this week, and if they can emerge from it unscathed, the Calgarians will almost certainly clinch first place in Canada West
2.) Alberta - Smooth sailing for the Golden Bears against the Wesmen this past weekend, and expect the cruising to continue as they take on Saskatchewan this week. Expect Alberta to retain this spot.
3.) Laval - Two more wins for the Rouge et Or, who continue to be unscathed in the East. They'll keep that trend going through the remainder of their schedule, and won't face any real adversity until they make the inevitable trip to BC.
4.) Trinity Western - Stomping the Huskies proves absolutely nothing, but it does serve to pad the stats and add two more crucial wins to the Spartans' total. Will they move up from fourth in the standings before the end of the conference season? Probably not, but they will undoubtedly remain a top contender come playoff time.
5.) McMaster - I didn't particularly like the way that they did it (and neither did they), but the Marauders continued to win this past weekend against two middling teams from Toronto. Tougher tests are ahead with games against Guelph this weekend and Queen's the next. That should better indicate where the Marauders stand.
6.) Manitoba - No action for the Bisons means no compelling reason to move them up. But it also gives me no reason to drop them either. Major matches this weekend against the Dinos will change that for better or worse.
7.) Western - Only one game for the Mustangs this past weekend, and they handled it with ease against their neighbouring Lancers. Good bounce back effort for a team that was looking a little frail the past few weeks.
8.) Brandon - The Bobcats were merciless in dispatching the bottom-tier Cougars in a battle of the felines this past weekend. Impressive but expected. This weekend, with two contests against the Spartans, will be much more trying for the Manitobans.
9.) Queen's - The Gaels easily dispatched the mid-table Varsity Blues in their only game this past weekend. Good result that demonstrated offensive prowess from some of the Kingston outfit's lesser lights. Big home tilt against McMaster on the last weekend of the season will be telling.
10.) Thompson Rivers - The WolfPack were dealt a reminder this past weekend that while they should not be taken lightly, they also remain clearly outside the top tier of teams in Canada West. Playing the Calgary Dinos can do that to you. Consecutive home dates with Winnipeg should do marvels for their ruffled confidence.