The #3 University of Manitoba Bisons men’s volleyball team took care of the Winnipeg Wesmen in the 26th annual Duckworth Challenge 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-21) at the Investors Group Athletic Centre on Thursday.
With the win, Manitoba won the men’s volleyball portion of the Duckworth Challenge, and improved to 11-1 in conference play.
“We have played very very solid, and everyone is contributing,” Bisons head coach Garth Pischke said post-game. “Everybody feels right now that they’re going to be the guy that scores the next point for us, so that’s a good thing when they’re all confident out there.”
Manitoba’s Luke Herr and Winnipeg’s David Bommersbach were named Duckworth Challenge players of the game for their respective squads.
Adam DeJonckheere and Devren Dear led the Bisons with 11 kills each, and Bommersbach led the Wesmen with 11 kills of his own.
The home side never trailed and took control in the first set, taking an early 8-3 set lead. Winnipeg made seven attack errors, compared to the Bisons two, who converted 13 kills in the set. Dear led the herd with five kills in the set, Scott Vercaigne and DeJonckheere added another three each. The Bisons also had a .440 attack percentage, compared to Winnipeg’s .040 per cent, helping Manitoba to a 25-14 first set victory.
The second set was more competitive, but again the herd managed to win it. The set featured a lot of attacking errors, with the Bisons committing nine and the Wesmen committing 11. Manitoba led 10-9 in kills, and attacking-wise stayed at a positive percentage, while the visitors attacked at -.065 per cent.
The final set began with a lot of back and forth play, with the teams tied at six points apiece early. The game remained close and tied at 15 points until DeJonckheere converted on a kill, and gave the herd a 16-15 lead.
With momentum on their side, the Bisons took a timeout. On the very next play, Dustin Spiring came up with a huge block, and increased their lead to two. Winnipeg made a strong push late, tying the match at 20 points. The home side struck back on the next play to take a 21-20 lead, and then Vercaigne converted back-to-back service aces to give Manitoba a 23-20 lead. The home side kept their lead, and went on to win the set, 25-21.
The Bisons have completed the first half of their season, they will open up conference play on Jan. 13-14 at home against the UBC Thunderbirds.