Bison women's volleyball squad wins home opener in straight sets

Danielle Doiron

WINNIPEG – The University of Manitoba Bison women's volleyball team won their first game of the 2016 season in straight sets (25-14, 26-24, 25-11) over the University of Regina Cougars at Investors Group Athletic Centre on Friday night. 

The Bisons are now 1-2 on the young season after losing both games of their season-opening set on the road last weekend against the Mount Royal University Cougars. The Regina Cougars now sit at last place in the Canada West Division with a 0-3 record.

Manitoba's Tori Studler led both sides with 16 kills, while Kearley Abbott and Ashlee Sandiford each had 10.

One of those Studler kills gave the Bisons the first point of the game, but the Cougars fired back, winning five straight rallies. Not to be outdone, the home side responded with six consecutive points, and the teams traded the serve until another Studler kill gave Manitoba possession. The Bisons scored in six of the next seven rallies and later put up another six-point streak to win the set 25-14 on a Haille Bujan kill.

The tight contest continued in the second. The Cougars edged in front with a 12-7 lead, thanks in part to two kills and a service ace from rookie Emma Matheson, but the Bisons quickly caught up. The home side rallied back to tie the game at 19 then take their first lead of the set on Courtney Kwok's first kill of the night. Regina then tied the game at 24, but consecutive kills from Studler gave Manitoba the 26-24 set win.

The Bisons carried momentum from the second set into the third and led 16-6 at the technical timeout. Six kills – two from Studler, two from Kearley Abbott, and one each from Sarah Klassen and Sydney Booker – helped give the home side a 24-10 advantage before the Cougars scored on an attack error and the Bisons took the set 25-11 and the game 3-0 on the next rally. 

Game 2 of the weekend set takes place on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at Investors Group Athletic Centre.