VANCOUVER – The No. 6 UBC Thunderbirds went the distance for the second straight night against the No. 5 Brandon University Bobcats but ultimately fell in another five-set thriller. Set scores were 27-29, 25-18, 25-20, 22-25, and 15-13 tonight at the Healthy Living Centre in Brandon, Man.
In the fifth set, both teams started by trading points until the Bobcats took the lead just before trading sides at 8-6. Brandon used their strong attack both on the net and coming out of the service line to extend that lead. That is until UBC had an awakening and was able to tie things up after two Alex Russell kills at 12-12. Unfortunately for UBC, the T-Birds were unable to make a run with the ball after regaining the serve at 13-13. The Bobcats took the next two points and the match, winning 15-13.
The opening set of the evening was certainly a thriller. It was a tight battle from the start and both teams were fiery after last night’s contest. UBC had a slight edge over the Bobcats, but they were always within a three-point spread. The final nine points of the set were won by kills and extended the set to 29-27 with UBC the victor.
Brandon took both second and third sets of the evening. In spite of UBC beginning the second set with a 5-1 lead, the Bobcats would make a run with the ball and tie things up at 5-5. Brandon would take the lead and extend it all the way to the deciding match point. Similarly, the third was decidedly in favour of the Bobcats from early on.
However, UBC responded by taking an early fourth-set lead. Three Mac McNicol kills pushed the Birds’ ahead 8-2. However, at 23-19, Bobcat’s Sebastien Steigmeier would make two service aces bringing the Bobcats within just two points. The T-Birds were able to cut his service run by siding out and winning the set 25-22 on a Joel Regehr kill.
Ben Chow led the T-Birds again tonight racking in 15 kills, five blocks, and 10 digs. McNicol followed with 14 kills, three blocks, and five digs.
Tonight, Brandon’s Steigmeier lead the evening with an impressive 26 kills, five service aces, and 12 digs. Teammate Sam Tuivai finished with 17 kills, three service aces, and 7 digs.
The Thunderbirds (10-8) head home to prepare for next weekend’s series against the Trinity Western Spartans (12-4) at War Memorial Gym.