Packed home weekend proves fruitless for University of Manitoba Bisons

With a big family, every kid gets a chance to play.

Such was the case over the weekend as all four Bisons court teams packed IG Athletic Centre for three days of intense action.

Men’s volleyball

If you blinked Friday, you may have missed the men’s volleyball game, as the Bisons got swept off the floor 3-0 by the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.

The U of M battled hard in the first set, pushing the Thunderbirds to the brink. UBC responded with cool determination, taking set one 26-24 and set two 27-25 to put the U of M on the ropes.

The Bisons got out to a 2-1 lead to start the third set, but UBC came back with four straight points to take a 5-2 lead. Both sides traded points until the Thunderbirds used a three-point run to make it 12-7 and the U of M could not make up the difference.

A Kevin Negus error sealed a 25-17 UBC win.

Saturday did not go much better for the Bisons, as UBC completed the sweep with another win in straight sets, 3-0.

The U of M gave UBC a run for its money in the first, pushing the set to extra points, only to fall 27-25. The Thunderbirds came back in the second set strong with a 25-23 win and knocked the Bisons off with a 25-21 third set to take the match.

With three weeks of games left, the Bisons sit eighth in Canada West at 7-9. The club is in tough down the stretch as it must face third-place Alberta and fourth-place Brandon.

Women’s volleyball

Friday was just not a good day to be a Bisons volleyball player, as the women’s side fell to the same fate as the men in a 3-0 loss to the Thunderbirds.

A lopsided 25-15 opening set gave UBC an early lead, but also seemed to spark the herd that fought back from an early 6-1 deficit in the second set. After an Allison Alcock error made it 10-4 UBC, the U of M knocked down four straight to make it 10-8.

The clubs fought hard until an error by Brynn Pasin cost UBC and kept the Bisons close at 15-11. This error woke the T-Birds up, as they hammered the herd, established a lead and buried the U of M with a four-point run to take the set 25-15.

UBC kept rolling with a 25-20 third-set win to take the match.

While the men looked like Donald Cerrone on Saturday night, at least the women got a hit in. The U of M fell 3-1 to UBC as the Thunderbirds went a perfect 4-0 on the court over the weekend.

It was the herd striking first in fact, with a quick 25-22 opening-set win. The win did not translate to more as UBC took the second set 25-21 and batted the U of M aside 25-15 in the third.

Pasin brought the final ball down in a 25-22 fourth set win, as UBC took the weekend.

At 2-16 the U of M sits last in Canada West, six wins back from the final playoff spot with six games to go.

Men’s basketball

It is one thing to win big, but it is another entirely to scratch your way to a victory and prove you can face adversity. On Saturday the Bisons showed the latter in a 75-72 win over the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.

With a slight 39-37 lead at the half, the U of M dominated with an 18-point third quarter to take a 57-50 lead into the final frame. Saskatchewan hung around with a 22-point quarter, but with 18 points the herd hung on for the win.

Saskatchewan gave the herd another run for its money Sunday, taking the game to overtime where the Huskies earned a weekend split with an 89-87 win.

Down 57-48 heading into the fourth quarter, the Bisons roared back, outscoring Saskatchewan 27-18 to force overtime. With under 30 seconds on the clock, Risto Zimbakov drained a three-pointer to tie the game 87-87, and it looked like the two clubs would need another overtime to settle the score.

That was until Emmanuel Akintunde charged to the rim for the Huskies and sank a layup in the final seconds to win it for Saskatchewan.

The U of M now sits third in Canada West at 12-2 following the weekend split.

Women’s basketball

The Bisons women’s basketball team was in tough over the weekend, facing the undefeated Saskatchewan Huskies. After a pair of games, the Huskies are still undefeated and the Bisons are back to .500.

The only word to describe Saturday’s action for the Bisons is “ouch,” as the herd dropped a 74-43 decision to Saskatchewan.

Coming out of halftime the game was close at 32-25 in favour of the Huskies. But the bite proved worse than the bark as Saskatchewan dropped 42 points in the second half to just 18 from the U of M to take the win.

Sunday was little better for the U of M, as scoring continued to be an issue in a 76-43 loss.

Emma Thompson led the way for the U of M with a 13-point afternoon, followed by Lauren Bartlett with 12 points. Taylor Randall was nearly held off the scoresheet with four points against Saskatchewan and only saw the floor for 28 minutes.

Now at 7-7 on the season, the U of M sits tied with the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack and University of Victoria Vikes for seventh in Canada West.