Written by: Kellen Taniguchi
Winnipeg, MB – The #1 University of Manitoba Bisons men's volleyball team, won their 18th consecutive game, and completed the weekend sweep over the Thompson Rivers WolfPack with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-16) victory on Saturday, February 4 at the Investors Group Athletic Centre.
The Bisons are now 19-1 with the win, and Thompson Rivers falls to 2-16 with the loss.
"It's nice we got lots of guys on the floor too, and they all contributed." Bisons head coach Garth Pischke said. "We played pretty steady throughout, and I'm happy with it."
The win comes during the herds final regular season home game, a night where their eight seniors were honoured (Ken Rooney, Devren Dear, Luke Herr, Evan Jackson, Kevin Falconer, Caleb Hickok, Alex Strachan, Josh Crellin).
"It's a large crew" said Pischke "I thought it was a good ceremony, and they deserved it. There's a lot of talent there, and a lot of good memories"
The home team was led by Devren Dear's 10 kills, and the teams 13 service ace's, while the visitors were led by Anton Napolitano's four kills.
Manitoba dominated the first set, a set that was plagued with service errors and aces. The visitors opened with an early 2-1 lead, but the Bisons would convert eight consecutive points to take a 9-2 lead. The run of nine points, rooted from senior Luke Herr's three service aces. The home team would string another four points together, courtesy of two service ace's by Scott Vercaigne, to take a 13-3 lead. Thompson Rivers was able to put points on the board in large part to the Bisons eight service errors; the visitors made six themselves. Devren Dear was also a major force in the set, he led both sides with four kills. Manitoba would win the set 25-15 on a Caleb Hickok service ace, a fitting way to end the first set.
The Bisons continued their dominance in the second set, where they were able to score four straight points twice, and five straight points one time within the set; Thompson Rivers never scored more than three straight points. The set was competitive early, with the home side up just 6-5 early on. Later in the set, the Bisons were able to go on a 5-0-point run, that was powered through two Vercaigne kills. The home side would roll on to another 25-15 set win. Vercaigne and Dear led the Bisons with four kills each in the frame.
The final set started off really competitive, with the teams exchanging points, but the Bisons had a 13-10 lead mid-way through the frame. The Bisons took over from there, and went on a 3-0-point run before the technical timeout, on kills by Ken Rooney and Dear. Manitoba came out of the technical timeout and Vercaigne delivered a kill, giving the home side a 17-10 lead. The Bisons would go on to with the set 25-16, and the set 3-0.
Manitoba is on the road during the February 10-11 weekend, as they look to extend their winning streak when they take on the McEwan Griffins. Thompson Rivers is also in action next weekend, and will play host to the University of Winnipeg Wesmen.
(Bisons listed first): 25-15, 25-15, 25-16
MAN: Devren Dear (10)
TRU: Anton Napolitano (4)
MAN: Luke Herr (25)
TRU: Jakob Hamilton (15)
MAN: Kevin Falconer and Devren Dear (5)
TRU: Jakob Hamilton (6)