SHERBROOKE, Que. -- The No. 7 Alberta Pandas won their second straight upset on Friday with a five-set victory over the No. 3 Ottawa Gee-Gees in the semifinals of the CIS women's volleyball championship.
Alberta beat Ottawa 17-25, 25-20, 25-11, 23-25 and 15-12 a day after stunning second-seeded Montreal in the tournament's opening round.
The Panda's victory sets up a gold-medal rematch between Alberta and the UBC Thunderbirds on Saturday afternoon. Alberta let a two-sets-to-one lead over UBC slip away in a 3-2 loss at the 2012 national final.
The Gee-Gees, who were looking to reach the CIS final for the first time since 1980 (vs. Saskatchewan), started the semifinal well as the OUA champions easily beat the Pandas 25-17 in the first set.
But Alberta, the Canada West bronze medallists, also had high aspirations. They evened the score by winning 25-20 in the second set and continued to impose their rhythm in the third frame to win again by 25-11, and this after having quickly taken the lead 10-3 at the beginning of the set.
The fourth set offered very balanced play. The Gee-Gees rallied to come back for a 25-23 win, forcing the fifth and deciding set.
The Pandas finally grabbed the victory 15-12 on a third match point to win the contest 3-2. This was the first match of the tournament which was pushed to its limit.
Ottawa faces Trinity Western for bronze Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.