After opening the 2009–10 season with a win against the Brandon University Bobcats, the men’s basketball team struggled to maintain consistency, going 3-6 over the first nine conference games heading into the holiday break.
Once again the men’s squad would come strong out of the gate, winning their first game of the second term, but the team could not sustain the momentum moving forward into the second half of the season. Following their fourth win of the season against TRU the Bisons strung together ten consecutive losses to finish seventh in the Canada West Prairie Division with a regular season record of 4-16.
The women’s team opened their regular season with back-to-back victories over Brandon University, but, much like the men’s team, failed to string together any consistent results, compiling a conference record of 3-6 before the new year.
When conference play resumed in January, however, the Bisons began to see some better results. By February the women’s team had tallied five more conference wins making for a much more competitive 8-12 season record. Despite a hard working late season effort that sent Manitoba into a three-way tie for fifth spot in the Prairie Division, they were ultimately out of the playoff picture.
Without much doubt, the 2009–10 season turned out to be one of the oddest, perhaps most emotionally draining seasons in Bisons football history. Conference play began on a sour note as Manitoba dropped the first two games by a combined score of 17-69.
By early October the Bisons had followed their back-to-back losses with back-to-back wins against UBC and Alberta. Manitoba would go on to lose games to CIS top ranked Calgary and Saskatchewan before once again returning with winning efforts against UBC and Simon Fraser to close out the season.
Unfortunately, this was a season where happenings off the field overshadowed happenings on the field. Due to a player ineligibility that did not come to light until the end of the season, the Bisons were forced by CIS to forfeit their early season wins against both UBC and Alberta. This meant that the team record that was previously 5-3 would be changed to 2-5-1 and that Manitoba would go from third seed in the Canada West playoffs to sixth place, and out of the post-season entirely.
Twice this season the men’s hockey team came perilously close to a championship title but had to settle for runner up spot in both the conference playoffs and the CIS nationals. The Bisons started the season with four straight wins in back-to-back games against Saskatchewan and Lethbridge. Tilts against UBC, Calgary and Alberta, however, would shake Manitoba’s consistency as they went 2-3-1 going into their first bye week in early November. The Bisons went into the holiday break with a 9-3-2 record.
Coming out of the break Manitoba split their first five back-to-back series’ and did not see any extra time for the remainder of the season, going 7-7 in their last 14 games down the stretch. In the Canada West conference playoffs Manitoba beat Saskatchewan two games to one in their best of three series. With the series victory the Bisons advanced to the conference finals to play top ranked Alberta for the championship. By game two of the finals, Manitoba was up on the score sheet and sat about thirty minutes away from sealing the upset victory over the Golden Bears. Alberta battled back, however, to win both games two and three to claim the conference title in a hard fought three game series.
Manitoba’s women’s hockey team started the 2009–10 season with a rocky two game slide against Alberta but immediately followed with an amazing 12 game conference play winning streak that stretched from Oct. 23–Jan. 9. After the holiday break the Bisons had a tough time against Saskatchewan and Alberta, going 0-4 total in the two series, but managed to string together another winning streak of six games against Calgary, UBC and Regina.
Near the end of the regular season the women’s team played an exhibition game against the Swiss National Team, who were in Winnipeg preparing for the Winter Olympics. Manitoba lost the game but proved their mettle in doing so, taking the Swiss team into overtime in a hard-fought 2-1 shootout loss.
The Bisons beat Saskatchewan two games to one in the semi final round of the Canada West playoffs to advance to the conference finals. Unfortunately Manitoba could not overcome the top-seeded Alberta and were beaten two games to none.
The women’s volleyball team started the season splitting two back-to-back series’ against Regina and Brandon before stringing together a nine game winning streak that spanned from Nov. 6–Jan. 16. The Bisons would surrender only three more losses before the end of the season, compiling a record of 15-5, good enough for second overall in the Canada West standings.
Unfortunately it seems the theme this year for the women’s volleyball team was silver instead of gold as they not once, but twice fought their way to a championship final only to suffer a heartbreaking loss at the hands of top ranked UBC. The Bisons earned a silver medal finish in both the Canada West conference playoffs and the CIS nationals.
This season the men’s volleyball team struggled to maintain consistent results as they went 3-3 over the first three weeks of conference play. At times it seems as though the Bisons had established a rhythm but the squad was never able to post more than two victories in a row, a feat that occurred three times during the regular season.
Manitoba closed out the year sitting in the seventh and last playoff spot in Canada West, with a record of 9-9. The Bisons gave a spirited effort but ultimately could not overcome the firepower of the number two-seeded Calgary. Manitoba was eliminated from the opening round of the conference playoffs by scores of 3-1 and 3-0.