Matt Packwood, Brandon University Athletics
BRANDON, Man. – The MacEwan Griffins picked up an important road win Friday night over a feisty Brandon Bobcat squad that refused to lay down. Brandon rallied late in the match but the Griffins held fast for a 3-1 (25-12, 25-15, 21-25, 25-23) win.
The Bobcats went with a new-look starting line-up and MacEwan made use of a great defensive game in the first two sets to make quick work of the Bobcats, holding the home-side to negative attack efficiencies at -.143 and -.103.
Brandon answered the bell in the third set and carried the momentum into the fourth but it wasn't enough as the Griffins' goal of reaching the post-season elevated their game late in the match.
"We came off a big win last weekend but nothing is guaranteed for us, so we're just really working on it and grinding through every game," said fourth-year middle Mckenna Stevenson following Friday's match.
"We just really focus on our system and where we need to be on defence. We pride ourselves on being a hard-serving team, especially Carly Weber and Haley Gilfillan. They're really hard to pass, we even find that at home in our practices, but we just found a lot of success starting with our serve and pass in the morning and figuring things out then."
Stevenson's team-high 12 kills was good enough for a .474 hitting percentage as the Spruce Grove, Alta. product also registered six blocks.
Four Griffins finished in double-figures in digs, led by libero Rachel Jorvina's 15. Hailey Cornelis finished with 13 digs while Kylie Schubert and Lauren Holmes each finished with 11.
The Bobcats were paced by fifth-year Nikala Majewski whose final weekend as a Bobcat saw her register 16 kills on Friday, moving her to fifth all-time in Canada West with 1,220 in her career.
Majewski also contributed 18 digs while Caitlin Le had 19 digs and Michelle Egger had 10 kills.
The win moves MacEwan's record to 12-11 in conference play while Brandon sits at 4-19.
The two teams meet again at 5 p.m. in Brandon in what will be the final regular season match for both teams.
Photo courtesy Milana Paddock