DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics
One night after struggling to string together positive points, the Winnipeg Wesmen stepped up and showed out, taking a four-set victory in a critical Canada West conference contest.
Daniel Thiessen had 22 kills and a match-high 14 digs and the Wesmen men's volleyball team scored a split of the weekend with a 3-1 (25-19, 25-11, 26-28, 25-23) win over the Saskatchewan Huskies Saturday night at the Duckworth Centre.
The result was a key one for Winnipeg, which improved to 5-7 on the season and send the Huskies back to .500 at 7-7. Winnipeg stood in seventh place in the conference at the end of the match while Saskatchewan was one spot above.
"We've got to come prepared every night," left side Ethan Duncan said. "Some nights it doesn't go our way. Bad passes lead to bad sets lead to bad hits. It all just kinda falls in line. So when we come out firing, it usually follows set to set. It just depends how we start usually."
After Saskatchewan came back to take Set 4, the two teams essentially played side-out volleyball throughout the fourth set. Winnipeg led 22-20 only to see Saskatchewan pull even at 22 and again at 23 before back-to-back kills from Garrett Jones and Thiessen put the match away.
"After that third set they pushed pretty hard," Duncan said. "We knew we played pretty well the first two sets, so we knew we just had to come out firing like we did in the first two."
Dyck finished with 11 kills, eight digs, and five block assists, while Jones was an efficient .562 on the night, notching 11 kills on 16 swings with just two errors.
After amassing a career-high 17 kills in a Friday night loss, Thiessen's 14 gave him a two-night total that was a career-best for him in a weekend series.
The Huskies, meanwhile, took little solace in getting a road split.
"I don't really care if we win or lose, I care how we play," head coach Nathan Bennett said. "I didn't think we had a good second half of the match (Friday) night and the whole match today. I think we were mentally — for lack of a better term — checked out. So this bye week for us coming up right now couldn't come at a better time. We need some rest and be ready to come against Manitoba in a couple weeks."
Colin Fraser had 15 kills to lead the Huskies, while Dylan Mortensen added 13. Saskatchewan hit just .066 for the match to Winnipeg's .336.
Photo: David Larkins/Wesmen Athletics