Ali Lee, University of Victoria
The seeding and schedule were announced Sunday for the 2015 Canadian Interuniversity Sport women’s rugby championship, which this year moves from a six-team pool-play format to an eight-team single-elimination model.
The tournament, hosted for the first time by Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., kicks off on Thursday at Queen’s Nixon Field and concludes Sunday with the gold-medal final at 3 p.m. All 11 games from the competition will be webcast live on CIS-SIC.tv.
The teams set to compete for the Monilex Trophy are the top-seeded Acadia Axewomen (AUS champions), No. 2 McMaster Marauders (OUA champs), No. 3 Ottawa Gee-Gees (RSEQ champs), No. 4 Victoria Vikes (Canada West champs), No. 5 Concordia Stingers (RSEQ finalists), No. 6 and reigning national champion St. Francis Xavier X-Women (AUS finalists), No. 7 Lethbridge Pronghorns (Canada West finalists) and No. 8 Queen’s Gaels (hosts).
Thursday’s quarter-final matchups include StFX vs. Ottawa in the opener at 1 p.m., followed by Lethbridge vs. McMaster at 3 p.m., Concordia vs. Victoria at 5 p.m., as well as host Queen’s vs. Acadia at 7 p.m.
Acadia captured its first-ever AUS title on Friday night thanks to a 34-17 road win over perennial powerhouse StFX, which had claimed 17 straight conference banners since women’s rugby was added to the AUS program back in 1998. A year ago, the X-Women defeated McMaster 43-34 in the CIS championship game to merit their fourth Monilex Trophy.
In the other conference finals over the past two weekends, McMaster upset Guelph 21-13, Ottawa beat Concordia 25-17, and Victoria dominated Lethbridge 50-17 for its first Canada West title. Queen’s lost 20-10 to Western in the OUA bronze-medal game.
In addition to StFX, Lethbridge is the only team in this week’s field to have hoisted the Monilex Trophy in the past. The Pronghorns won three consecutive CIS titles from 2007 to 2009.
NOTES: Seeding for the CIS championship is based on conference results at the previous year’s tournament… A complete championship preview will follow on Tuesday… The 2015 CIS individual award winners and all-Canadian teams will be announced on Wednesday.
1. Acadia Axewomen (AUS champions: 5-1 regular season / 2-0 playoffs)
2. McMaster Marauders (OUA champions: 4-1 regular season / 3-0 playoffs)
3. Ottawa Gee-Gees (RSEQ champions: 7-0 regular season / 2-0 playoffs)
4. Victoria Vikes (Canada West champions: 2-2 regular season / 2-0 playoffs)
5. Concordia Stingers (RSEQ finalists: 6-1 regular season / 1-1 playoffs)
6. StFX X-Women (AUS finalists: 5-1 regular season / 0-1 playoffs)
7. Lethbridge Pronghorns (Canada West finalists: 0-3-1 regular season / 1-1 playoffs)
8. Queen’s Gaels (Hosts: 4-1 regular season / 1-2 playoffs)
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (All times listed in Eastern Time)
Wednesday, Nov. 4
18:30 All-Canadian Awards Gala (Days Inn and Conference Centre Kingston)
Thursday, Nov. 5
13:00 Quarter-final 1: No. 6 StFX vs. No. 3 Ottawa (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
15:00 Quarter-final 2: No. 7 Lethbridge vs. No. 2 McMaster (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
17:00 Quarter-final 3: No. 5 Concordia vs. No. 4 Victoria (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
19:00 Quarter-final 4: No. 8 Queen’s vs. No. 1 Acadia (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
Friday, Nov. 6
Saturday, Nov. 7
11:00 Consolation 1: Loser QF 1 vs. Loser QF 2 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
13:00 Consolation 2: Loser QF 3 vs. Loser QF 4 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
15:00 Semifinal 3: Winner QF 1 vs. Winner QF 2 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
17:00 Semifinal 4: Winner QF 3 vs. Winner QF 4 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)