After a 3-1 win over the #6 Alberta Pandas on Friday, the University of Manitoba women’s volleyball team was pushing to sweep the weekend and improve on their three game winning streak. Unfortunately for the Bisons, Alberta took the game in three straight sets (25-23, 25-23, 27-25).
The Bisons are now 10-9 and in sixth place in Canada West. Alberta is third with a clinched playoff spot and a 14-6 record.
The end of the third set could have been anybody’s as the score went back and forth. After a strong kill by left side Taylor Pischke the Pandas answered with a block for a point by outside player Karly Janssen and middle player Lia Stang and a kill by Stang from Janssen Alberta took the set and match.
Set one and two were closes call for Alberta. In the first, after a steady back and forth Pandas setter/right side Alyssa Jones spiked a ball from setter Jaki Ellis for set point, taking it by a narrow margin at 25-23. Ellis led her team with a total of 12 kills for Alberta.
The second was an equally even fight, Manitoba held the lead 16-14 at the technical time out but in the end a net violation and service ace served by outside player Dionne Lang finished the set in Alberta’s favour at another 25-23 set win.
Co-captain Rachel Cockrell scored the game-high of 13 kills throwing down a lot of hard balls that Alberta could do nothing with as they bounced out of bounds off the Pandas. Late in the third she hit five in a row for the Bisons.
Bisons libero and co-captain Nicole Hall made her last at-home regular season appearance as a Bisons women’s volleyball player. She has held the position of libero since her rookie season five years ago. Hall is in her fifth year at the University of Manitoba and will be graduating this semester with a nursing degree.
Late in the second set Hall made an incredible play to send the ball over the net from the bottom corner of the court near the stands. In Canada West conference digs Hall is first at 3.58 per set.
Pandas Lia Stang, Alyssa Jones, Jaki Ellis and Krista Zubick are also finishing their last season as CIS players. They will play their senior game home game next weekend.