Huskies hop­ing play­off dreams don’t get spiked

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - SPORTS - DAR­REN ZARY dzary@post­media.com Twit­ter.com/@DZfromtheSP

We didn’t get any help or favours from any other teams. Two wins would prob­a­bly get us in, but it’s not guar­an­teed.

The Univer­sity of Saskatchewan Huskies men’s vol­ley­ball team has been forced into play­off mode one week ahead of time.

The Huskies are cling­ing onto the eighth and fi­nal play­off spot in the Canada West con­fer­ence, but they find them­selves tied with the Man­i­toba Bisons.

Both teams sport a 9-11 record. The Huskies hit the road to Van­cou­ver this week­end to close out the reg­u­lar sea­son against a top­tier Univer­sity of Bri­tish Columbia Thun­der­birds squad (19-3), while the Bisons are host­ing the UBCOkana­gan Heat (5-17).

“There are too many math­e­mat­i­cal equa­tions ,” said U of She ad coach Brian Gavlas.

“As I said to our guys, we have to treat it like a play­off week­end. Whether it was this week­end or next week­end, we have to go in and we have to win. So that’s kind of the sit­u­a­tion we’re in right now. We didn’t get any help or favours from any other teams.

“Two wins would prob­a­bly get us in, but it’s not guar­an­teed.”

Even if Saskatchewan were to win twice, Man­i­toba could also pick up two vic­to­ries to force a tiebreaker sit­u­a­tion.

“Then it comes down to sets for and against, set wins and the math as­so­ci­ated with that, so who knows?” Gavlas added.

“If we don’t get two wins, I don’t think we’re in a good spot. If we get two wins, we’ll keep our fin­gers crossed that the sets for and against are in our favour.”

Saskatchewan en­ters the week­end with 36 sets won and 44 lost, while Man­i­toba has 39 sets won and 47 lost.

“We had a de­cent sec­ond half here, but we still lost a cou­ple that we’d like to have back,” said Gavlas. “Go­ing back, there was prob­a­bly one at TRU (Thompson Rivers Univer­sity) and one at U of A (Al­berta) that could have put us in a better po­si­tion and there are some in the first half as well.

“It is what it is. We are play­ing in mean­ing­ful games at the end of the year, which is sig­nif­i­cant.”

In Canada West women’s vol­ley­ball, Saskatchewan faces a must-sweep sit­u­a­tion against UBC in its fi­nal week­end of the reg­u­lar sea­son to have any slim hope of ad­vanc­ing to the play­offs. The Huskies have dropped five straight matches and that slump could very well cost them a lon­gawaited play­off berth.

Saskatchewan (9-13) is cur­rently 10th in Canada West, four points out of sev­enth and eighth place, with the top eight teams qual­i­fy­ing for play­offs.

UBC’s women’s team is tied for sec­ond with an 18-4 record.

LIAM RICHARDS/FILE

CJ Gavlas and the U of S Huskies head to UBC with their play­off lives on the line this week­end.

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