Thunderbirds fall short in five set match against Saskatchewan


Saskatoon, SK – The UBC women’s volleyball team were unable to pull off a comeback against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies this evening, losing in five sets (26-24, 25-18, 23-25, 19-25, 15-13). All of UBC’s losses this season have come in five set matches.  

With the loss the Thunderbirds drop to 8-7 on the season, while Saskatchewan snaps its six game losing skid to improve to 4-9. 

Trailing two sets to none, the Thunderbirds rallied to even the match at 2-2 and send it to a fifth and deciding set. The Huskies came out blazing scoring four straight points to start off the proceedings. Alissa Coulter contributed an ace followed by a kill to get her team back on track, and the two teams found themselves tied once again at 4-4. The Huskies answered back with yet another four point run to go ahead 8-4 and unfortunately the T-Birds were unable to dig themselves out of the hole for the remainder of the set. Saskatchewan clinched the match 15-13.

The first set was a close one, down 20-17, UBC fought back to take a 24-23 lead after a Nicola Laniuk ace. However, the Thunderbirds could not covert the set point, giving up three straight points to the Huskies, the last coming on a block by Jina Barker to give Saskatchewan a 26-24 victory.  

Saskatchewan carried the momentum over to the second set. Tied at 12-12, the Huskies started to take control going up 18-14 on an Emily Humbert block. They would not look back the rest of the way, led by a pair of kills from Anne Hanbridge, Saskatchewan won the set 25-18 to take a commanding 2-0 lead.  

UBC were not going to give in without a fight however. They came out strong in the third set. and led 23-21. A kill by Emmalyn Copping would tie the game at 23-23 apiece, but after an attack error from Kayla Tycholiz, Rosie Schlagintweit was able to seal the deal for her team with the winning kill, 25-23.

In the fourth set, the two teams traded chances and were tied at 16-16 when the Thunderbirds pounced and won four straight points off two Danielle Brisebois kills and a kill and a service ace from Abbey Keeping to go ahead 20-16. They would go on to win the set 25-19 to extend the match to five games.

UBC is now 2-7 in five-set matches this season.

“We didn’t come out as focused, energetic or hungry as we needed to be,” said UBC head coach Doug Reimer. “In the fifth set, it was disappointing to see the volume of mistakes that we made. Despite the loss I think our group remains committed to finding solutions and we are growing as a team.”  

Brisebois had another standout performance for the Thunderbirds, recording 16 kills for the Thunderbirds. Following close behind were Schlagintweit and Coulter, who contributed 14 and 12 kills respectively to the Thunderbirds offence.

For the Huskies, Copping recorded a game high 17 kills on the night. Four other Huskies joined her in putting up double-digits on the scoreboard for kills: Hanbridge (12), Tycholiz (11), Humbert (11) and Ruby Stefan (11).

The two teams will face each other again at 4:00 pm PT. You can tune into the action at for the live stream.