The Bisons women’s soccer team will have a new bench boss when they kick off the 2012 Canada West season in September.
Hadyn Sloane-Seale was named the third head coach in the women’s soccer program earlier this month, and will be looking to coach the Bisons back into the post-season for the first time since the 2008 season.
Also in Canada West women’s soccer this season; UNBC, Mount Royal and Winnipeg will play their inaugural season in the conference, expanding the number of teams competing to 13.
With the additional teams, the total number of games played per team in 2012 has decreased from 14 to 12. Furthermore, the number of teams qualifying for the playoffs has doubled from four to eight.
The Bisons will open the regular season on the road against their new crosstown rivals from the U of W on Sept. 7.
The addition of two new schools in the Pacific division won’t have a direct affect on the Bison men’s and women’s basketball teams, but there will be some significant changes to the Canada West playoff setup.
With both divisions at eight teams, there is no need for the Wild Card playoff format. Starting this season the top four teams from each division will qualify for the playoffs. Last season, both Bison teams missed the playoffs, with the women finishing in seventh, and the men fifth.
Both teams start the 2012 season on the road in Calgary on Nov. 2 and 3 before hosting the Brandon Bobcats Nov. 9 and 10.
The addition of Mount Royal to the Canada West conference means that all 12 teams will play every weekend throughout the 22-match volleyball season.
The Bison men and women’s teams will start the season on the road against the Winnipeg Wesmen on Oct. 25, and then host the Calgary Dinos the following weekend on Nov. 1 and 2.
The men’s team will be looking to improve on their bronze medal finish at the 2012 CIS National Championships, while the women’s team will be looking for a boost from their promising class of recruits after being eliminated in the first round of the 2012 Canada West playoffs by Winnipeg.
In other Bison volleyball news, the 1978-80 Bison men’s volleyball teams will be inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame on Nov. 3. With a roster of players that included current men’s head coach Garth Pischke, the 1978 Bisons posted a 47-2 record before securing the U of M’s first CIAU (now CIS) national championship in volleyball.
The Bisons looked to repeat as champions the following year, but lost in the finals to the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. With the bitter taste of defeat still lingering in the back of their minds, the Bisons qualified for the CIAU finals again in 1980, and this time came out victorious over their hosts at the U of S, winning definitively three sets to one.
The 1978-80 Bison men’s volleyball teams and other 2012 inductees will officially be inducted into the Hall of Fame in the fall.