The women’s volleyball team has been rolling like thunder as of late, winning their last five straight to put them inside the U Sports national top 10 ranking for the first time all season. Two weeks ago, they shocked the Canada West top-seeded Trinity Western Spartans, thrashing them in back-to-back games (3-1 and 3-0) in Langley. This killed the Spartans’ bid for a perfect season and knocking them a spot down in the national rankings.
After having last weekend off, the ’Birds (13-7) now look to carry that momentum into the only women’s specific feature game on campus: Thunderstruck, held on Friday, February 8.
Facing off against the Winnipeg Wesmen (4-16) — who have dropped three straight — UBC could lock up a playoff berth with a winning weekend. As the Regina Cougars — one seat ahead of the Thunderbirds in the standings — sit at a 14-8 record going into their bye weekend this weekend, UBC controls their own destiny in terms of final conference placings with two weekends of games to go. Should the T-Birds sweep the weekend, they would head back into a home court advantage playoff spot going into the final regular season weekend on February 15.
UBC also has some top talents and awards to back their push down the home stretch.
Second-year outside hitter Kiera Van Ryk added another couple of awards to her shelf, being named U Sports female athlete of week and Canada West female athlete of the month for January. She has certainly helped the ’Birds stay the course as they rapidly approach the playoffs.
Production across the team has been building steadily — but even with the impressive stats that accompany Van Ryk, one player doesn't make a team. The consistency of play from the rest of the squad has allowed them to continue to build confidence that they hope will help them make a run deep into the playoffs.
The ’Birds will also be able to rally behind what should be a packed house on Friday, as they are one of the only home teams playing on campus and have had the marketing backing throughout the week from UBC Athletics.
Looking ahead, UBC will have a much tougher challenge in their final weekend on February 15 when they face the third nationally ranked Calgary Dinos — but we’ll take it one step at a time here.