Griffins Edge Wesmen In Five Set Thriller

WINNIPEG - In a match that lasted close to two hours, the MacEwan University Griffins defeated the University of Winnipeg Wesmen in a thrilling five set match (19-25, 25-16, 23-25, 25-15, 16-14) Saturday evening at the Dr. David F. Anderson Gymnasium in Winnipeg.

The Griffins complete the opening weekend of the regular season with a 2-0 record. Winnipeg falls to 0-2 early on in conference play.

Fourth year outside hitter Cassidy Kinsella led the Griffins with a match high 22 kills while adding 10 defensive digs. Kate Rozendaal was next with 13 kills. Zoe Cronin led the team in digs with 12 while McKenna Stevenson had five service aces.

Winnipeg was led by fourth year outside Danika Picklyk's 14 kills, 14 defensive digs and three service aces. Third year left side Alex Rose had 10 kills followed by Jessica Friesen with nine.

In the first set Winnipeg gained the upper hand taking a 16-14 lead at the technical break. The two teams battled to 18-18 but Winnipeg soon after went on 7-1 run to close out the set 25-19 in their favor.

The teams were all even at the beginning of set number two at 8-8 but a 10-1 run by the Griffins, highlighted by four service aces by McKenna Stevenson gave the visitors a 18-9 lead on their way to a 25-16 set two win to even the match.

Set number three saw the Wesmen fight back and after a kill by Alex Rose, Winnipeg took a 16-14 lead into the technical timeout. A Danika Picklyk ace combined with a kill by Jessica Friesen late in the set enabled Winnipeg to take the third set 25-23 and a 2-1 lead in the match.

The Griffins jumped out to a 10-1 lead in the fourth set and went on to force a fifth and deciding set posting a 25-15 win to square the match at 2-2.

Winnipeg had the lead at 8-7 at the change of side's point of the fifth set. A pair of kills and a service ace by Alex Rose gave Winnipeg an 11-10 lead late in the set. A Kinsella kill soon after tied the score at 12-12 and soon after a Winnipeg serving error tied the score at 14-14. The Griffins scored the final two points to close out the set 16-14 to win the match in five.

The Griffins will be home next weekend to the Saskatchewan Huskies. Winnipeg will be on the road to visit the UBC Thunderbirds.