The Province

Busiest weekend of university calendar

- — Howard Tsumura

The university sports calendar has more on the line this weekend than at any stage this season. Here’s our quick look at the games that matter most:

The UBC Thunderbir­ds and Trinity Western Spartans will take part in the CIS women’s volleyball championsh­ips at the University of Regina, Friday through Sunday. UBC is once again the favourite as it tries to win a record seventh straight national crown. The ’Birds open play Friday against the host Cougars in a 4 p.m. start. TWU, on the other side of the draw, opens the event with an 11 a.m. match against Dalhousie.

Trinity Western, in Calgary, trying to win its third CIS men’s national volleyball championsh­ip in four seasons, fell 3-2 (25-21, 22-25, 19-25, 27-25, 16-14) to Western in the quarterfin­als Thursday and has been relegated to the consolatio­n side of the draw.

The Canada West men’s basketball Final Four goes this week in Edmonton, and one of B.C.’s top two teams — Fraser Valley or Victoria — will play for the conference title Saturday and earn a berth to the nationals. That’s because the Cascades and Vikes will clash in a 3 p.m. Friday semifinal at the University of Alberta. Saskatchew­an and host Alberta tip off at 7 p.m., with the winners meeting Saturday for the title. The top two finishers are guaranteed automatic berths to the nationals.

Canada West women’s basketball quarterfin­als resume locally this weekend on two fronts. No. 5 Fraser Valley opened its best-of-three series against Calgary on Thursday at its Abbotsford campus. The series resumes Friday (7 p.m.) and Saturday (7 p.m., if necessary). UBC hosts Saskatchew­an in its best-of-three beginning Friday (7 p.m.), with games Saturday (5 p.m.) and Sunday (2 p.m., if necessary). Kamloops’ Thompson Rivers WolfPack opens a best-of-three series Friday at Alberta.

The UBC men’s hockey team opens its best-of-three conference semifinals Friday at Alberta. The series resumes Saturday and, if necessary, Sunday.

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