Wild weekend for Bison volleyball

Photo by Carolyne Kroeker

This weekend saw both the Bisons men’s and women’s volleyball teams play a two game series against the Grant MacEwan Griffins. The men stayed undefeated while the women split their two games, getting their first win of the year in the process.

Men dominate
The CIS fourth-ranked Bisons squad showed why they’re a top-10 team in the nation, dropping just one set in the two games against the Griffins.
On Friday, the herd swept the Griffins 3-0 (26-24, 25-14, 25-17). The first set proved to be a tight offensive battle.
Manitoba then came out flying in the second set and at one point were leading by 10. The third and decisive set saw the men cruise comfortably to a 25-17 win.
Bisons men’s head coach Garth Pischke talked after the game about the win and how he felt his team performed.
“I think we wore them down eventually,” Pischke said. “We stayed with our same hard working attitude – I think we were really blue-collar out there.”
Saturday saw more of the same for the men as they dominated the floor and won 3-1 (25-20, 25-20, 22-25, 25-18).
Devren Dear led the Bisons with 16 kills for the Saturday afternoon and 14 on Friday. Kevin Falconer also had an impressive three service aces, his most of the season.
Luke Herr led the herd with 14 digs, although the whole starting six got involved as everyone recorded at least four.
The ‘Zoons are now 4-0 on the year and will face off against the Mount Royal Cougars at home next weekend. The Cougars have a perfect away record and will look to keep that momentum going.

Women split games
The women’s volleyball team struggled on Friday night, but grabbed their first win on the season on Saturday afternoon.
The Griffins and Bisons went the distance on Friday. After the home side took a 2-1 lead, MacEwan came back to win 3-2 (20-25, 26-24, 25-15, 22-25, 6-15).
For the third time this season, the Bison women lost despite holding a 2-1 lead, something that will need to be addressed in the future. At many points throughout the match, the Bisons looked disorganized and the Griffins punished them.
Jordana Milne led the line for Manitoba on Friday, recording 15 kills – her best output this season. Caleigh Dobie also had a team high of 16 digs, making some key plays to get the Bisons out of trouble.
Saturday was a much different story however, as the herd dominated and won 3-1 (25-23, 25-20, 20-25, 25-12). The first three sets were very tight, but the Bisons came stampeding out in the fourth set, determined to not let previous collapses happen again.
Tori Studler racked up 13 kills on the afternoon, with Kalena Schulz and Milne both getting 11. The two team’s stats were fairly even but the Bisons did have significantly more blocks, getting 11 compared to the Griffins’ six.
The women will also play the Mount Royal Cougars next weekend at home. The Cougars are 2-3 and coming off a tough weekend against Alberta.