MVB: Brandon Splits Weekend Series at Manitoba

Kelly O'Donnell, Bison Athletics

WINNIPEG - The Brandon Bobcats came back Saturday, Oct 21 ready to even out the weekend series, winning in three straight sets (25-22, 25-23, 25-20) against the Manitoba Bisons at the conference match at the Investors Group Athletic Centre.

"We didn't play very good," said Garth Pischke, head coach for the Bison men's volleyball team, "and we made a lot of untimely errors."

The teams first set was similar to Friday's match with short rallies and both teams fighting point for point. Continuous over bumps off of the serve made for rare plays and quick hits on both sides of the net.

Right off the bat, the Bobcats gained a two-point lead after the Bisons shanked two consecutive serve receives off of middle player James Weir's serve. 

Halfway through the set, the Cats took a 16-11 lead after some hard spikes from Matt Powell and Weir, and a clever roll shot into the hole by Seth Friesen. The home team called a time out and Bisons power Adam DeJonckheere came back out to close the gap with two aced serves.

The lead was brought back by the Bobcats to 22-19, with two power aces down the line by Elliot Viles. 

A block by the home team's middle Brendan Warren and a back-row attack by Scott Vercaigne challenged the Bobcats lead. Vercaigne led the Bisons with 5 kills and 2 great digs, and Friesen led in kills for the Cats with six kills out of nine attacks. Similar to Friday's game, both teams kept a tight match in the final points, but Brandon finished the set with 25-22. 

The second set saw the Bobcats pull ahead 11-7 after a huge block from Powell, but the Bisons came back 13-13 after Brandon made three consecutive errors on offense. Seth Friesen brought the Cats lead back with a huge block and hard spike off of an over bump by the Bisons. The Bobcats continued to dominate on blocking with eight kills off of their blocks.

Things were looking up for the Bisons after an unreal one-handed dig and big block by middle Warren brought the score to 23-22 for the Bobcats. Friesen finished the set with a huge power hit, bringing the score to 25-23 for the Cats. Friesen conquered with 13 kills, and Reece Dixon and Powell's work on defense with five digs each helped the Cats achieve their win.

The teams played point for point in the third set and the Bisons fought to stay in the game. The Bobcats pulled ahead 17-15 after a huge hit by Viles went off the Bisons block and out. Brandon struggled with two missed serves in the final important points. The home side returned a missed serve, keeping the Bobcats lead of two points at 20-18. 

The Bobcats continued their lead to the end with some fantastic net play. The Bisons struggled to hit past the wall the Cats put up, and Brandon finished the final set 25-20 after a shanked bump from the home team.

"Everybody tried; it wasn't as crisp as last night. (They had) a lot of net errors and missed serves," said Pischke.

Manitoba will play again on Friday night (Oct. 27) at 8:30 p.m. CT against the Calgary Dinos on the road and Brandon will play their next game at home against the Saskatchewan Huskies on Friday night (Oct. 27) at 7:45 p.m. Both matches can be seen live on CanadaWest.TV.




MAN: Scott Vercaigne, 14

BDN: Seth Friesen, 15


MAN: Brendan Warren, 3

BDN: Mason Metcalf and Seth Frisen and James Weir, 3


MAN: Kyle Martens, 7

BDN: Reece Dixon, 6