Brandon, MB – A night after losing in five sets, the UBC Thunderbirds women’s volleyball team responded with a straight sets victory over the Brandon University Bobcats Saturday evening 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-17).
With the victory UBC remains in the thick of the playoff hunt with a record of 10-8, just one win behind the Bobcats at 11-7. It was the fifth straight weekend the Thunderbirds have split the two-game series.
The ‘Birds dominated from the opening serve playing nearly mistake free volleyball. As a team they only made 12 attack errors and five service errors. Fifth-year outside hitter Rosie Schlagintweit led the way with 15 kills and five blocks, while Danielle Brisebois finished with 12 kills and five blocks and Lisa Barclay chipped in with 10 kills and eight blocks. Abbey Keeping was a force at the net all night finishing with seven blocks and seven kills, while Alessandra Gentile dished out 38 assists.
“Tonight was a very focused effort from the start,” said UBC head coach Doug Reimer. “Probably one of our more consistent efforts of the season and it comes at a good time. Everyone played well but Alessandra (Gentile) did a great job setting tonight and that led to some great offensive performances.”
In the opening set UBC jumped out to a 6-1 lead and never faltered the rest of the way. Keeping produced two blocks at the end of the set to seal a comfortable 25-13 victory.
The second set was more evenly matched. Led by Shanlee McLennan, who finished with six kills, the Bobcats were able to match the ‘Birds at 4-4. However, UBC’s .500% kill efficiency was too much to handle for Brandon. A service ace by Schlagintweit made the game 11-6. The Bobcats, thanks to a couple of errors from the Thunderbirds, closed the gap to two points, trailing 17-15. That would be as close as Brandon would come as the Thunderbirds closed out the set with a Barclay kill to win 25-19.
Desperate to extend the match, Brandon came out strong and were able to keep up with the Thunderbirds as they two teams were tied at 8-8. But, just as they did all night, UBC took control and went on a 5-0 run that the Bobcats would never recover from. Barclay led the way with five kills in the set as UBC won 25-17 and swept the match 3-0.
Next weekend the Thunderbirds will return home to host their rivals from Trinity Western at War Memorial Gym.
It was a very focussed effort from the start. Probably one of our more consistent efforts of the season and it comes at a good time. Everyone played well but Alessandra did a great job setting tonight and that led to some great offensive performances.