WInnipeg, MB – In a rematch of last year’s CIS National Final, the University of Manitoba Bisons once again got the best of the UBC Thunderbirds women’s volleyball team in an exciting five-set match. Set scores were 25-12, 23-25, 22-25, 25-18, 19-17 in favour of the Bisons.
After fighting off four match points in the fifth set, and even having a match point of their own, the Thunderbirds committed several unforced errors that ultimately resulted in another loss – just the second loss to Manitoba since 2007.
“Frustrating loss since we had come back from a poor first set to lead 2-1,” said UBC head coach Doug Reimer. “We had way too many unforced errors in several areas.”
UBC drops to 5-4 while Manitoba improves to 4-5.
UBC had 38 attack errors along with 13 service errors in the five-set match.
“There’s definitely a feeling of disappointment,” said fifth-year middle Abbey Keeping. “We need to dig deeper individually and as a team to figure out how to minimize our errors.”
Keeping had 11 kills in the match with an attack efficiency of 30 per cent
Bison setter Brittany Habing amassed an impressive stat line on the evening with 37 assists to go along with 7.5 points and seven digs.
“I thought that it was a really good team win,” said Habing. “We served really well – our goal is to always win the serve/pass game, and I think we accomplished that tonight.”
Habing joined the Bisons last season after spending her first two years of eligibility at the University of Winnipeg.
The Bisons opened up the match with a dominant first set, one that saw the Thunderbirds record more attack errors than kills. As the match progressed and the teams leveled out their play, Manitoba continually looked to right-side Rachel Cockrell to carry the load.
“It’s obvious, [Rachel’s] our go to,” said Habing. “She’s not afraid to swing when the game is on the line.”
Cockrell, last year’s CIS Championship Tournament Most Valuable Player, had a match-high 21 kills.
UBC’s fourth-year left-side Alissa Coulter tallied 13 kills on a respectable 29 per cent attack efficiency. Right-side Rosie Schlagintweit also had 13 kills, but committed 10 errors in the process.
The two teams will face off again on Saturday night at Manitoba’s Investors Group Athletic Centre.
Juliana Kaufmanis notes that serving and limiting attack errors must be improved in order for the Thunderbirds to have success.
“We’re going to [have to] intellectually engage what didn’t work so well, with the intention of moving forward and improving for tomorrow’s game,” she said. Kaufmanis came in midway through the first set of Friday’s match and led UBC with 13 digs.
Saturday’s match will commence at 4 p.m. PT, and can be viewed live via canadawest.tv.