(By University of Regina Sports Information)
REGINA – The University of Regina's women's volleyball team won its fourth consecutive match on Saturday as the Cougars took out the Brandon Bobcats in four sets at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.
The win improves Regina's record to 10-8 as the Cougars keep pace with UBC (10-8) in the race for fourth place in the Canada West standings.
The Cougars came out with a 25-20 win in a first set which saw them hit .429 as a team, but the next two frames were heavily contested. The second set featured 14 tie scores before the Cougars pulled out a 25-23 win, but Brandon replied by claiming its first set of the weekend with a 25-22 win in the third.
But the Cougars held Brandon to an .028 hitting percentage in the fourth set, and Regina used a 7-2 run to help build up a five-point cushion at the technical timeout. The Cougars ended any hope of a Brandon comeback with a late 7-1 run, and Sandiford's 14th kill of the night clinched a 25-18 win for the U of R.
"I'm very happy with the team's performance tonight and over the entire weekend," Cougars head coach Melanie Sanford said. "Our preparation and game planning served us well and tonight we made some key adjustments and were able to come out on top against a challenging team. We did a very good job of responding to the third-set loss with a solid fourth that gave us the match."
Jessica Lerminiaux matched Sandiford with 14 kills for the Cougars, while Sandiford also chipped in with 12 digs. Taylor Ungar led all players with 16 digs, while Satomi Togawa finished with 39 assists, 13 digs four aces, and four kills. The Cougars also had six blocks from Brooklyn Reynolds and four apiece from Emma Matheson and Diana Lumbala.
Nikala Majewski had a match-high 16 kills, tied Togawa for the match lead with four aces, and also led Brandon with 14 digs. Rayvn Wiebe added 14 kills for the Bobcats while leading all players with a .393 hitting percentage.
Brandon, which falls to 3-15 on the season, has two games apiece against Winnipeg, Thompson Rivers, and MacEwan to close out the conference schedule. They'll play the Wesmen in Winnipeg next Thursday and in Brandon next Saturday.
The Cougars will continue battling for playoff position next weekend with their final two home matches of the Canada West schedule. They'll host MacEwan, a team that's lurking just one win behind Regina and UBC in the conference standings but holds two matches in hand on both teams. Both of next weekend's matches will start at 7:00 PM at the CKHS.
NOTES: Ungar's 16 digs give her 1286 for her career as she continues to close in on Jessie Niles' Canada West record of 1317.