Might as well jump: Wesmen Devin Schmidt (#12) and Justin Duff (#6) defend against the Bisons as Dan Lother (#7) looks on. – Jill Brown
A long-standing rivalry was alive and well over the weekend as the men’s and women’s Wesmen volleyball teams struggled at home against the University of Manitoba Bisons.
The men’s Wesmen won the second set of the match but were unable to hold the game, losing 3-1 to Manitoba.
“We know these guys play well, we played with them in high school,” said Steve Goertzen, the Bison’s middle. “There’s definitely a huge rivalry and it’s nice to get a win.”
The second set saw the Wesmen shine with middle Maurice Williams helping the team reach an 8-5 lead at the first technical time-out, and eventually winning the set 25-23.
Although the Wesmen kept the match close throughout, the team looked worn by the fourth set with the Bison’s hitting an early stride at 13-4, which saw several substitutions on the Wesmen side and a final score in the fourth set of 25-15 in Manitoba’s favor.
“We didn’t play well enough and that was a collective team effort,” said Larry McKay, Wesmen head coach. “We don’t just have a rivalry with that team [the Bisons], we have a rivalry with any team we play.”
The Wesmen women fared worse without their first setter Danica Hughes, losing the match by 3-0. Hughes came down with the flu an hour before the match and was replaced by first-year setter Rhea White.
“There’s been a rivalry since the beginning,” said Diane Scott, Wesmen women’s head coach. “We should have and could have won the first two sets.”
The first two sets were hotly contested. Manitoba defeated the Wesmen 26-24 in the first set and, after a tense and dramatic exchange of points, the Bison’s took the second set 29-27.
Although the Wesmen remained determined in the third set, trailing by a single point at 16-15 during the second technical time-out, Manitoba took the third and final set 25-20.
Both Wesmen teams have lost more games then they’ve won this season, something they hope to turn around when the two teams face the Brandon University Bobcats in Brandon this weekend, Nov. 20-21.