SASKATOON — As the Canada West season nears an end, the Winnipeg Wesmen earned a critical win in their push to the post-season.
Emma Parker led four Wesmen players in double figures in kills with 17 and the Wesmen women's volleyball team earned a weekend split with a 3-2 (23-25, 25-22, 25-16, 21-25, 15-9) win over the Saskatchewan Huskies Saturday night.
The win boosted Winnipeg's record to 8-10 on the season and kept the Wesmen in the top eight teams that will qualify for the post-season. The Wesmen sit in eighth, four points clear of Calgary — winners of four straight — and UBC-Okanagan, both of whom have two matches in hand on Winnipeg.
Parker's performance was her second straight double-double, and her 55 swings were a season-high.
Ashleigh Laube had 15 kills for Winnipeg, which also got 14 kills and 13 digs from Kalena Schulz, 11 kills and six block assists from Taylor Boughton and a career-high 22 digs from setter Rylie Dickson, who added two aces and three block assists.
"It was a bit of a roller coaster in terms of emotions for the teams and a lot of runs by each team," Winnipeg interim head coach Phil Hudson said.
"Our kids in the fifth set could have very easily folded after being up and the other team coming back, but they just gutted it out. It was a great win for us. It's not easy to win the second night in another team's gym ... and I'm really proud of our girls."
The eight wins are the most for the Wesmen program since the 2015-16 season when they went 8-16. That season capped off a string of three straight eight-win campaigns. The Wesmen are looking to make the Canada West playoffs for the first time since 2011-12 when they lost in the conference final four bronze-medal match.
Madison Fyvie had 20 digs, her second-straight 20-dig match and third of this season.
The victory came after the Wesmen dropped a five-setter Friday night in Saskatoon after going ahead 2-0 in sets.
"We were a lot more assertive," Hudson said. "Last night we played not to lose, tonight we played to win. We were attacking everything, we served way more aggressive. I told our girls we had to serve them tough. They're bigger than us at the net. Their middle players are very good players, their outsides one-on-one we just have a hard time defending against, so we had to serve hard to keep them out of system."
Saskatchewan (10-6) got 17 kills from Emily Koshinsky and 11 from Olivia Mattern. The Huskies hit .153 for the match to the Wesmen's .148.
The Wesmen are back home for a weekend series against 12-6 Mount Royal Friday and Saturday, Jan. 24-25.
— With files from Huskies Athletics