Weekend rundown: Men’s rugby claims another title with Wightman Boot brilliance

It was a weekend of major milestones and more hardware for some UBC teams, while others continue to struggle through the first few weeks of the winter term both at home and away.

We’ve got our eyes on the rugby team and our two basketball teams currently, who are on hot streaks coming into the final weeks of the regular season, but other varsity rosters are starting to steal some spotlight too.

Huband hits 500th win

The basketball teams were on form again this weekend as both snagged two more wins against the Trinity Western Spartans. They’re definitely two teams to watch out for right now as we come into the final weeks of regular season.

That said, the big news out of the basketball camp this weekend was the major milestone hit by long-time — 24 years, in fact — women’s head coach Deb Huband: she hit 500 career wins at the Thunderbirds helm with their 70-48 win on Saturday night. They also won 76-64 on Friday.

Besides being the longest-serving and most successful women’s basketball coach the school has ever had, Huband has also won the most U Sports national championships with three overall.

The team now sits on a 10-4 record in Canada West, good enough for fifth in the conference.

Triple digits

On the men’s side, the Thunderbirds basketball team continued their triple-digit days with 112-65 and 100-80 wins over the weekend. Though the points were spread across much of the UBC roster, highlights included a 22-point Friday for Jadon Cohee and a 30-point Saturday for Manroop Clair — a solid weekend for two of UBC’s newest recruits this season.

The team is second in Canada West now with a 13-1 record. The only team ahead of them? The ever-challenging Calgary Dinos who are 16-0.

First sweep of season

Finally, some good news for the men’s volleyball team. After struggling throguh the first term, the Thunderbirds put up 3-2 and 3-1 wins over the weekend to put them up to a 4-10 regular season record.

First-years Matt Neaves and Michael Dowhaniuk led the T-Birds throughout the two games, showing the potential the team has for future seasons. Neaves put up 24.5 points on Friday night, while Dowhaniuk led the team with 31.5 on Saturday.

['auto'] Salomon Micko Benrimoh

Disappointment at Doug

Though the women’s hockey team continued to plow on through their season with a split weekend in Edmonton against the Alberta Pandas (a 2-0 win on Friday and a 1-2 loss on Saturday), the men’s team had a tougher go of it at home at Doug Mitchell against the Golden Bears. UBC struggled particularly with Alberta forward Luke Philp. Of the nine goals scored over the weekend, Philp scored four.

That said, perhaps the biggest issue in terms of the Thunderbirds themselves is — and has been for a few games now — their lack of goal-scoring. For the first time in a while, though, the goals did come from their forwards in Friday’s 3-2 loss, with a goal from Austin Vetterl and Austin Glover. Their momentum, however, died with the 6-0 onslaught they faced on Saturday.

['auto'] Salomon Micko Benrimoh

Road to Gold: Another trophy for men’s rugby

Going into the final leg of the Wightman Boot, the annual two-game series between UBC and the University of Victoria (UVic), with a 19-point advantage on aggregate, the ’Birds had some fall-back room if they wanted to defend their 2017 Boot title. On Saturday, impressive kicking from stand-off Adam McQueen helped push the ’Birds to a narrow 28-23 lead on the day, but a 73-49 win on aggregate. UBC’s Michael Smith also converted two tries on the day.

The win puts the ’Birds up to a 7-3 record in the Rugby Premier League. It also adds another tally in UBC’s favour in the Legends Cup series (the series announced at the start of the 2018/19 season between several of UBC and UVics varsity teams and also comes with its own trophy).

['auto'] Salomon Micko Benrimoh