Tyler Crayston, Brandon University Athletics
BRANDON – The Bobcat men's volleyball team edged the UBC Thunderbirds in a hard-fought four-set showdown on Saturday night at the Healthy Living Centre.
The set scores were 23-25, 25-18, 25-23 and 25-22.
Seth Friesen had 15 kills for the second-ranked Bobcats, while Elliott Viles was next with 13 kills for BU.
"It was a big character win and we were happy to grind it out," said Friesen. "We are just starting our building process and each outing we want to get better."
UBC's offence was led by James Takken, who recorded 15 kills, while Danny Aspenlieder added 14 kills for the winless Thunderbirds.
Brandon's 5-1 run had them in control midway through the first, but UBC countered with an 8-1 run late to take the opener over the Bobcats.
In the second set, Brandon bounced back. The Bobcats strung together five straight points right off the bat. They added a 5-1 run down the stretch and the damage was done.
The third set was a seesaw affair, until a 6-1 Brandon run turned a 13-12 deficit into an 18-14 advantage. The T-Birds fought off a pair of set points, but they couldn't complete the comeback.
The fourth set saw a series of momentum swings with the Bobcats eventually emerging victorious.
BU's lead was 10-7, but the Thunderbirds turned the tables by scoring seven straight points. At the technical timeout, UBC was up 16-12. The Bobcats responded with a string of four in row to pull even at 16's. The fourth was deadlocked 20-20, before Brandon pull ahead for good, thanks to a dramatic 6-1 run.
The Bobcats are a perfect 4-and-0 and head out on the road this coming weekend to meet the sixth-ranked Mount Royal Cougars in Calgary.
Meanwhile, the Thunderbirds sit at 0-and-6 and return home to meet the Manitoba Bisons on November 9-10.
"We are still working on some intensity aspects. Everybody wants to be here and wants to win. We are all on the same page," said UBC captain Joel Regher.
(Photo courtesy: Matt Packwood)