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WVB | Wesmen attack unable to break Griffins in four-set loss

Wesmen middle blocker Haille Bujan looks to find a space between the MacEwan block during women's volleyball action Friday, Jan. 24, 2020 at the Duckworth Centre. (David Larkins/Wesmen Athletics)
Wesmen middle blocker Haille Bujan looks to find a space between the MacEwan block during women's volleyball action Friday, Jan. 24, 2020 at the Duckworth Centre. (David Larkins/Wesmen Athletics)

DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics

Phil Hudson said that's the best a team has dug the Winnipeg Wesmen all season long.

And the MacEwan Griffins have a victory to show for it, compiling 81 digs in a 3-1 (25-23, 12-25, 25-12, 25-21) Canada West conference women's volleyball win Friday night at the Duckworth Centre.

Hudson, the Wesmen interim head coach, lauded the Griffins for relentless back-row play, routinely extending long rallies that the Griffins more often than not were able to win.

"It was challenging when you make a good dig and then we just didn't get a chance to get a great swing in transition, and we'd have to make another dig to have an opportunity," Hudson said. "It was one of the first times a team has outdug us. They dug very well and they served well and had us out of system." 

Yet while Hudson was giving credit to MacEwan's back-row defence, Griffins head coach Ken Briggs was returning the praise.

"We've played everybody and their defence is incredible," Briggs said. "That brought out the best in us, too, because some of those rallies in those first couple sets were crazy. 

"In that first set I thought they were winning those battles. And then your girls start looking at each other thinking what do I have to do to put the ball on the floor? Once that first 10 points was over, you're going 'OK, we have to battle for every single point.' And we haven't had to do that very many weekends. ... I didn't trust a 10-point lead in this. We gave them several four- and five-point runs and that's just because they don't let up."

The Wesmen hit .157 for the match with Emma Parker leading the way with 18 kills and 10 digs. Ashleigh Laube and Madison Fyvie both had a team-high 21 digs, which was a career-high for Laube. 

Carly Weber led three Griffins in double-digit kills with 11. Haley Gilfillan and Lauren Holmes added 10 apiece. Rachel Jorvina had a match-high 26 digs, one of four Griffins in double figures in that category. 

MacEwan (13-6) hit .239 for the night including .324 in the first and .302 in the fourth. 

—#REPTHEW—