DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics
Once mired in a string of losses, the Winnipeg Wesmen are hitting the road with a win streak on their side.
The Winnipeg women's volleyball team got a season-high 16 kills and 12 digs from Emma Parker and tore off a key 7-1 run in the middle of the fourth set to defeat the Brandon Bobcats 3-1 (23-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-20) Saturday night at the Duckworth Centre.
The win was Winnipeg's second in a row over Brandon and marked the first time since December 2012 the Wesmen have swept the Bobcats in a series. The Wesmen defeated Brandon on the road on Thursday, marking the team's first road victory since Oct. 31, 2015.
"I thought we played the frontcourt much better and cleaner," Wesmen interim head coach Phil Hudson said. "(The Bobcats) were serving very difficult serves and we had trouble at the start of the first set, but as we started passing a little bit better we started being more in-system and we didn't give them as many second, third and fourth chances to serve. Then our service picked up, got them out-of-system a bit more and we had a better chance to set up a two-person block, which really helped our defence. That's about hard work and effort so you've gotta be pretty proud of how the kids are putting in a lot of time and effort into the process."
Ashleigh Laube added 11 kills and had a career-high 20 digs for Winnipeg (2-4) which will head to Alberta next weekend for a pair of matches against the Pandas. Five players on the Wesmen had double-digit digs with Madison Fyvie (13), Kalena Schulz (13), Parker and setter Rylie Dickson (10) all hitting the threshold. Schulz added a career-high seven aces to her statline.
Rayvn Wiebe led the Bobcats (0-6) for the second straight match with 19 kills and 13 digs. Shayne Nichols had a team-high 19 digs to lead four BU players in double figures there.
The Bobcats played without three injured regulars, leaving them with a roster trying to find some chemistry.
"We're just trying to find out how to play together and figure out ways to score," BU head coach Lee Carter said. "We've got the defensive stuff down pat and it's just a matter of now learning how to manufacture some kills with a bit of an undersized lineup."
The Wesmen hit .167 for the match but were .250 in the decisive fourth set. Brandon hit .181 for the night.