Feb 03, 2018
Written by: Ryan Stelter, Bison Sports
WINNIPEG – The Mount Royal University Cougars split a weekend series with the University of Manitoba Bisons following a 3-0 (20-25, 21-25, 18-25) win at the Investors Group Athletic Centre on Saturday, Feb. 3
With the win, Mount Royal's record moves to 9-11 and Manitoba's falls to 9-11 making the playoff race for the final playoff spot in the Canada West interesting with the final two weeks ahead.
"Our response to tonight's match was disappointing," said Bison head coach Ken Bentley post game. "At this point in the season it's disappointing when we're like, neck-in-neck for a playoff spot. Give [Mount Royal] credit, they knew they had to fight for their life and they did it."
The first set started off well for the Cougars, taking advantage of some of the sloppy play from the Bisons. The Cougars led 16-6 at the technical timeout, but Manitoba would not go away, making it 24-20. On the final point of the set, Cougar outsider hitter Alex Donaghy placed a cheeky tip in the back corner after a long rally. Donaghy finished with 15 kills on the night.
Manitoba appeared to turn it around in the second set starting off with a 5-1 lead, but that lead was soon erased. Mount Royal clawed their way back and after a prolonged rally with some great digging and blocks but Donaghy sliced through a Bison block to eat into Manitoba's lead. Mount Royal eventually won the set 25-21 off a Bison attack error.
In the third set, the first few points were closely contested, but the Cougars grabbed a 13-10 lead and never looked back. The Bisons did get some clutch digs from Brittany Habing throughout the set but fell 25-18.
Manitoba heads to Regina on Feb. 9-10 for a pair of games against the University of Regina, while Mount Royal heads to Brandon to play the Bobcats the same weekend.
MAN: Kearley Abbott (8)
MRU: Alex Donaghy (15)
MAN: Brittany Habing (11)
MRU: Nataliia Klimenova (22)
MAN: Jocelyn Koswin (5)