The U of M Bisons women’s volleyball club was not very welcoming to the visiting University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat on the weekend, as the herd dominated a two-game series to pick up crucial wins as the stretch-run begins across the conference.
The herd opened its weekend series with the UBC Okanagan with a 3-1 win on Friday.
Kearley Abbott led the herd with 13 kills and Cassie Bujan recorded a game-high 19 digs, while Ann Richards led the Heat with 13 kills.
Kelsey Jordan also stood out for the home team. She converted on seven of her eight attacks in the game.
“We’ve been working a lot in practice on my aspect of my game of attacking,” said Jordan.
“I think today I just really focused on what coach has been telling me about being patient, block, and making sure I make the right sets before I go for the attack.”
Manitoba stormed out to a 14-7 lead in the first set with Abbott hitting two of her four set kills within that span. UBC Okanagan responded with six unanswered points, capped off by a Richards kill.
The visitors used the momentum to snag a 25-23 first set win.
In the second set, Laura Findlay knocked down three kills and Manitoba won by a commanding 25-12 score.
Abbott opened the third set with a kill and Findlay followed with two of her own to put Manitoba up 3-0. Findlay slammed down a set-high five kills to lead the Bisons to a 25-16 set victory.
Josie Abbott pounded five kills in the fourth set, while Kearley Abbott killed the final ball of the set to give Manitoba the 25-20 win and the match. Once again, the herd’s offence was too strong, as they connected on 18 kills in the fourth frame.
With the win the Bisons improve to 8-8 on the year, good for sixth in the conference with eight games remaining.
“We’ve been working really, really hard in the gym and on the court to prepare for these games and it’s been paying off,” said Jordan.
Manitoba cruised to a 3-0 win over the Heat Saturday at the Investors Group Athletic Centre, completing the weekend sweep.
Koswin led the Bisons with a game-high 12 kills, and Bujan led all players with 13 digs.
Serving played a huge role in the match and the Bisons served up 14 aces in the match, compared to the Heats’ one.
Josie Abbott opened the match with two consecutive service aces, followed by a visitor attack error to put Manitoba up 3-0. Kearley Abbott served up two aces of her own and Koswin smacked down three kills to put the home team up 12-3.
The herd did not look back and took the first set 25-12.
Manitoba carried momentum into the second frame and strung together two 4-0 scoring runs. Two Findlay service aces and two Koswin kills put together the first run and the home team led 7-3.
After a Jade Bussard kill gave UBC Okanagan a point, the second 4-0 run — fuelled by two Josie Abbott kills — gave Manitoba an 11-4 lead. Manitoba went on to take the set 25-14.
The Heat put up a team-high 17 points in the third set, but 14 errors in the frame hurt them. Manitoba won the set 25-17 and took the match.
The Bisons will visit the University of Saskatchewan Huskies next weekend. Tipoff for game one is 6 p.m. CST on Jan. 18 and 6 p.m. the next night for game two.