REGINA – The University of Manitoba Bisons defeated the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in straight sets to capture their first CIS women’s volleyball championship since 2002 on Sunday.

Set scores were 25-22, 25-22, and 25-20.

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UBC entered the gold-medal final having won the last six national titles, tied with Winnipeg and Alberta for the longest streak in CIS women’s volleyball history. The Thunderbirds were the top seed going into this weekend’s tournament after sweeping Manitoba in straight sets in last week’s Canada West final.

With the win, the Bisons claimed their seventh overall CIS volleyball title, moving into a tie for second place all-time with Winnipeg and Alberta, and three behind UBC.

Manitoba’s Rachel Cockrell was named the championship MVP after registering a match-high 18 kills on 34 attempts in the final with just one error for a .500 hitting percentage. Cockrell was also in on five blocks for the Bisons.

Taylor Pischke finished with six kills and six digs for the new champs, Brittany Habing recorded a match-high 28 assists to go along with five blocks, and Emily Erickson and Jordana Milne posted six blocks apiece.

UBC was led by CIS player of the year Lisa Barclay, who had 13 kills and nine digs in a losing cause. Abbey Keeping also had double-digit kills with 10, while Kirsty Setterlund chipped in with 27 assists and four digs.

Earlier, Laval earned its first CIS medal since 2011, defeating Dalhousie in four sets (23-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-15) for bronze.

Laval’s Alyssa Fields-Bouchard had a match-high .429 hitting percentage with 13 kills and just one error on 28 total attacks. Eve Thibault led Laval in both kills (18) and digs (20) while hitting .340 for the match.

Esther Gilbert had 15 kills, and Sophie Dallaire tied Fields-Bouchard for the team lead with five blocks. She also had 18 of Laval’s 99 digs.

Dalhousie’s Maggie Li had 17 kills and hit .341 for the Tigers, while Desiree Nouwen led all players with 19 kills. Katherine Ryan totalled 28 digs and Marisa Mota added another 21.

©2014The Canadian Press