MRU pulls off hard fought five-set win against Bisons

MRU pulls off hard fought five-set win against Bisons

WINNIPEG — The Mount Royal University Cougars pulled off a hard fought 3-2 win in five sets (25-23, 25-12, 16-25, 13-25, 15-10) against the University of Manitoba Bisons on Fri., Feb. 2, 2018 at Investors Group Athletic Centre. 

Manitoba rallied hard late to push the game to five sets but it wasn't enough.

"It was close right down to the end but it wasn't great volleyball on both ends, I don't think," said Bison head coach, Garth Pischke. "We didn't show enough fire in the first two sets but at least we came back and made a game of it.

With the win, MRU's record moves to 6-13 and continues a three-game win streak. Manitoba's record falls to 7-12 and has now lost their last two matches.

Riley Friesen had a stellar 21 kills for the Cougars and Scott Vercaigne rounded out Manitoba's kills with 15.

Tyler Schmidt and Riley Friesen both had critical spikes late in the fifth to secure an MRU win at 15-10.

Mount Royal took an early lead in the crucial tie-breaking fifth set at 8-2. The Bisons fought to close in on the visiting team and earned back several points to put them within one point of the Cougars at 10-9 and then the visitors closed out the match winning five of the last six points. 

Both teams came to play in the fourth, with endless notable digs, blocks and strikes. Manitoba quickly pulled ahead at 13-7 in the hopes of pushing the game to five sets and the Cougars struggled to respond. Two consecutive untouched spikes, followed by an amazing block and a kill all by Adam DeJonckheere cemented the Bison fourth set win, 25-13

The early third looked like a point-for-point scoreboard, with both teams excelling in massive rallies. The home team pulled ahead at 11-7 and Mount Royal wasn't able to recover.

Dustin Spiring had a straight-to-the-ground spike to continue the Herd's point streak. The home team rallied in the third to keep their significant lead to set point. Nick Lightfoot had a service error and gave the home team the set win, 25-16.

Manitoba had 7.5 total team blocks going into the fourth set.

The visiting team attacked the second set with a spirited energy that Manitoba just couldn't keep up with. The Cougars took an early lead at 5-1 and kept it going to the end. An error from the host team after a Mitchell Newman spike lead to set point, 25-12.

Riley Friesen added seven kills in the second set.

MRU took a close first set, 25-23 to begin the long contest. 

In the match, Mount Royal hit 0.285 while Manitoba ended at 0.230.

Both teams will play again tomorrow (Sat., Feb. 3) at Investors Group Athletic Centre, starting at 5 p.m. CT. Watch the matches live online at CanadaWest.tv.

Game leaders:

Kills:
Manitoba – Scott Vercaigne, 15

Mount Royal – Riley Friesen, 21

Digs:
Manitoba – Scott Vercaigne, 10
Mount Royal – Jonathan Phillips, 9

Blocks:
Manitoba – Brendan Warren, 7
Mount Royal – Tyler Schmidt, 4