Matt Packwood, Brandon University Athletics
BRANDON – The UBC Thunderbirds used a dynamic offensive attack to keep the Brandon Bobcats off-balance all-night, resulting in a 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-16) win.
Second-year outside hitter Kiera Van Ryk led all scorers with 13 kills on 25 swings, good for a .440 attack efficiency, living up to her reputation as one of the most dangerous attackers in the conference.
Van Ryk paced the T-Birds to a .244 team efficiency, including a .343 rate in the final set.
The first set saw a tough serve game and great defense from UBC, keeping the Bobcats from maintaining any momentum.
Brandon answered the bell early in the second set, jumping to a 9-2 lead. UBC bench boss Doug Reimer called a time-out, allowing Victoria Behie and Siobhan Finan to serve the T-Birds back into the set. UBC went on an 7-0 run to narrow the distance before narrowly taking the frame despite being outhit by the Bobcats .120 to .167.
The third set was all offence from UBC, as the T-Birds blasted their way to the set and match win.
The win was a big one for T-Birds as they were looking to build momentum after struggling out of the gate early in the season.
"We struggled a bit in our past two weekends of letting them get the points and then also just giving it to them, so we're really working on taking what we can," says Kiera Van Ryk.
"When we minimize our mistakes we don't lose our motivation. We just say it's okay and we got it and just push through, which we did here tonight," Van Ryk adds.
Van Ryk was the lone T-Bird to finish in double-digit kills while Nikala Majewski was for the Bobcats, finishing with 11 kills.
The win moves UBC's record to 2-3 while Brandon remains winless at 0-3.
The two teams will meet again Saturday afternoon in Brandon to conclude the weekend series. First serve is scheduled for 5 pm and can be seen live at www.canadawest.tv.
(Photo courtesy Matt Packwood)