By Danielle Doiron
Winnipeg, MB – The University of Manitoba Bisons women's volleyball team fell 3-1 (25-18, 21-25, 25-9, 25-16, Bisons listed second) on Friday, January 13 night in their first match against the #4 UBC Thunderbirds this season.
UBC is now 10-3 in conference play. The loss at Investors Group Athletic Centre set the Bisons back to 6-7, snapping their four-game win streak.
UBC's Danielle Brisebois led both teams with 17 kills, and Tori Studler had 10 for Manitoba. Alessandra Gentile and Courtney Kowk put up 45 and 31 assists for the Thunderbirds and Bisons, respectively.
Both teams came out strong in the first, which was peppered with short rallies. The Bisons and Thunderbirds combined for six aces in the opening set alone (four for UBC, two for Manitoba). The visitors came out of the technical timeout up 16-13 before kicking off a few multi-rally streaks and eventually closing out the set 25-18 on an Emily Cicon kill.
The Thunderbirds broke away midway through the second set, after two kills and an ace gave them a 14-10 lead. But the Bisons responded right away, winning five consecutive rallies – two on Studler kills – to pull ahead 15-14. Manitoba held on to the lead for most of the final rallies and won the second 25-21 after a UBC attack landed out of bounds.
UBC jumped out to an early 9-0 lead in the third – and forced two Manitoba timeouts – before the home side earned their first point of the set on an Alessandra Gentile service error. The Bison offence put up four more points before the Thunderbirds jumped on another rally streak to get ahead 19-5, and Manitoba couldn't recover. UBC dominated the rest of the set, which they won 25-9.
The fourth started out as a close contest. Manitoba trailed UBC by only three points at the technical timeout, but then the Thunderbirds took off. The home side gave up five rallies in a row and only managed three points for the rest of the set before the visitors took it 25-16 and the game 3-1.
The teams finish up their two-game weekend set on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. CT at Investors Group Athletic Centre.
(Bisons listed first): 18-25, 25-21, 9-25, 16-25
MB: Tori Studler (10)
UBC: Danielle Brisebois (17)
MB: Courtney Kowk (31)
UBC: Alessandra Gentile (45)
MB: Hallie Bujan (11), Cassie Bujan (11)
UBC: Juliana Kaufmanis (18)