Gryphon volleyball men in tough against national champs

GUELPH – The Guelph Gryphons opened their OUA men’s volleyball preseason with a 3-1 loss to the two-time defending U Sports champion Trinity Western Spartans of Langley, B.C., Friday night at the Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre.

The Spartans won 26-24, 20-25, 37-35, 25-18 in the final game of the first day of the three-day Guelph Gryphons Invitational.

It was the fourth ever meeting between the teams, all won by Trinity Western. The Spartans won 3-2 in Guelph last year in the Gryphs’ preseason opener and they also won 3-1 at the Mitchell Athletics Centre in 2011. In the other meeting, Trinity Western swept the Gryphs 3-0 in a preseason tournament at Manitoba in 2007.

In other matches in the Gryphons Invitational Friday, the Alberta Golden Bears of Edmonton swept the Waterloo Warriors 3-0 (25-15, 26-24, 25-18) and the Laval Rouge et Or of Quebec City defeated the Queen’s Gaels 3-1 (25-16, 21-25, 25-21, 25-21).

Tournament participants account for the last seven U Sports championship victories. Trinity Western won in 2011, 2012, 2016 and 2017 while Alberta won in 2014 and 2015 and Laval won in 2013. An OUA team has not won the national title since the Ottawa Gee-Gees won it in 1968 when the tournament was held in Guelph.

Saturday’s schedule at the Gryphons Invitational has Waterloo playing Laval at 4 p.m., Trinity Western playing Queen’s at 6 p.m. and the Gryphs battling Alberta at 8 p.m.

Sunday, Alberta is to play Queen’s at 9 a.m., Trinity Western is to play Waterloo at 11 a.m. and the Gryphs are to tangle with Laval at 1 p.m.

The Gryphs will have one more preseason game following the tournament as they’re to host the Toronto Varsity Blues Oct. 20 at 8 p.m.

Guelph’s regular season is to start Oct. 27 with a home match against the Western Mustangs. Game time is 8 p.m.

  • Guelph Sports Journal