Tyler Crayston, Brandon University Athletics
BRANDON, Man. – The No. 1 nationally ranked Bobcats capped off their historic Canada West regular season with a 16th straight win on Saturday night at the Healthy Living Centre.
Brandon beat the MacEwan Griffins in straight sets to finish with a first-place record of 20-and-2. It marks the first-time in program history that the Bobcats clinched top spot following the conclusion of the regular season.
BU will have home-court advantage throughout the playoffs with the post-season beginning Thursday with the start of a best-of-three quarter-final against the Calgary Dinos.
"We have been working towards this all year," said fifth-year co-captain Brady Nault. "It is go time for us and we will be ready to come out of the gate on Thursday."
The Bobcats and Griffins went back and forth for the majority of the first set until the Bobcats picked up the first big surge of momentum late in the frame. BU closed out the opening act on a 6-2 run while hitting .458.
Brandon's offence caught fire early in the second with a 7-2 run to put them out in front 11-6. In the late stages of the second, the Griffins cut the deficit to three, but that is as close as they would get. The Bobcats' attack efficiency was well polished in the second at .464.
The Bobcats saved the best for last in the third operating at a .520 clip with just two errors. The 'Cats collected 15 kills on 25 attempts in the process. BU's sweep in the season finale was built on an early 8-0 run.
Elliott Viles had a match-high 12 kills, while Mason Metcalf was next with 10 kills and five blocks. Robin Baghdady scored seven kills on nine swings with just one error, while adding a match-high eight digs.
Kai Hesthammer and Max Vriend, each recorded seven kills for the Griffins, who finished with a record of 3-and-19.
(Photo Courtesy: Milana Paddock)