WINNIPEG – The University of Saskatchewan Huskies defeated the University of Winnipeg Wesmen 3-2 (22-25, 25-22, 25-15, 24-26, 17-15) in game one of the best of three Canada West Men’s Volleyball Quarter–Final series Friday evening at the Dr. David F. Anderson Gymnasium in Winnipeg.
Fifth year left side Jordan Nowakowski led the Huskies attack with a match high 30 kills. Fourth year middle Tyler Epp finished with 12 kills and seven blocks. Fourth year right side Andrew Nelson had 11 kills. Setter CJ Gavlas had 50 assists and two blocks.
Winnipeg was led by third year outside hitter David Bommersbach’s 28 kills, two service aces and three blocks. Taylor Howe and Brendan Thielmann each had 10 kills. Setter Josh McKay finished with 55 assists.
As expected the opening set was dead even between the two teams who finished regular season play with identical 15-9 records. Winnipeg gained the advantage at the technical timeout by a slim 16-15 margin. A Josh McKay block soon after extended the Wesmen lead to 18-15 forcing Saskatchewan to call a timeout. A service ace by Alexander Harvalias cut the Wesmen lead to 24-22 but Winnipeg put the first set away on the next point thanks to a kill by David Bommersbach and carry a 1-0 lead into the second set.
In the second set, the Huskies with Tyler Epp on the service line reeled off five straight points to take an 8-6 lead. The Huskies continued to lead and took a 16-15 lead into the technical timeout. Winnipeg closed the gap to 23-22 but kills by Nowakowski gave the Huskies the second set by a score of 25-22.
The Huskies had control of set number three racing out to a 16-11 lead at the technical break. Once again the power of Nowakowski came thru for the Huskies to propel them to a 25-15 set three win and a 2-1 lead in the match.
In set number four, the Canada West rivals battled back and forth exchanging points with the Huskies holding a 16-15 lead at the technical break. From that point it was a head to head battle between Nowakowski and Bommersbach, each pounding home four kills down the stretch. In the end Winnipeg came out on top winning the set 26-24 to even the match and forcing a fifth set.
Saskatchewan led 8-7 in the fifth set as both teams changed sides. The Huskies went up 14-12 and had match point staring right at them but a block by Bommersbach and McKay cut the lead to 14-13 and Winnipeg tied it up on the next play thanks to a service ace by Bommersbach that just caught the line. Winnipeg fought off two more match points soon after but one more kill by the Huskies gave them a 17-15 win in the fifth set to win the match 3-2.
Game two of the best of three series will be played on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. If game three is necessary it will go on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.