Friesen wins national title with Golden Bears

Braedon Friesen (right) PHOTO BY DENNIS CARTER

A pair of Swift Current volleyball products were on opposite ends of the court during the U Sports men’s volleyball national championship match on Sunday.

Braedon Friesen’s University of Alberta Golden Bears upset the top ranked defending champion Trinity Western Spartans, who featured Henry Rempel.

The third-ranked Golden Bears defeated the top ranked Trinity Western Spartans in four sets (25-22, 12-25, 26-24, 25-19) in the championship match on Sunday in Winnipeg. Neither Swift Current player made it onto the court during the championship match.

Friesen, a 6’7’’ outside hitter, was third on the team with 193 kills in 19 conference matches. He was also tied with 21 service aces. He added 30 blocks and 61 digs as well before being injured near the end of the regular season.

The Goldens Bears defeated Queens 3-0 in the quarter-final on Friday. They moved past the rival Calgary Dinos 3-1 in the semi-final on Saturday. The win marked the ninth national championship for the Golden Bears and first since 2015.

Henry Rempel is a 6’5’’ outside hitter in his second year of eligibility with the Spartans. Rempel appeared in three matches for the Spartans this season with 10 kills and one block. 

The Spartans swept the University of Manitoba in the quarter-final on Friday. They defeated the University of Sherbrooke 3-0 in the semi-final on Saturday.

The Spartans have now medalled at six consecutive U Sports championship tournaments.

Alberta had topped the Canada West regular season in the Central Division with a 15-3 record. Trinity Western won the West Division with a 15-1 record. Trinity Western defeated Alberta 3-1 in the Canada West final on March 19 in Langley, BC. The Spartans have now won five of the past six Canada West championships.