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Manitoba Bisons Beat UNB In Men’s Volleyball

WINNIPEG, MB – 2017 U SPORTS FOG Men’s Volleyball Championship: Saturday, March 18 at University of Alberta in Edmonton – #2 seed Manitoba vs. #6 seed UNB – Consolation SF match report

Final Score: Manitoba 3 UNB 0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-22)

The #2 seed Manitoba Bisons men’s volleyball team defeated the #6 seed UNB Varsity Reds by a 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-22) sweep in the Consolation semifinal match on Saturday, March 18 at the 2017 U SPORTS FOG Men’s Volleyball Championship at the Saville Community Sports Centre (University of Alberta) in Edmonton.

With the match win, Manitoba will now face Laval in the Consolation final for fifth place on Sunday, March 19 at 1 p.m. CT.

In the first set, both teams had not met until very early this season and had lots of side outs to begin the match and Manitoba were down 13-11 after a run of four points by UNB but started to settle down in a match that both teams would have rather played later in the day. The Bisons started to exert themselves into the technical timeout and had a balanced attack the rest of the way with Adam DeJonckheere at five kills, Devren Dear with four kills and Evan Jackson with three in the 25-20 set win.

In the second set, the Bisons continue to look like the team that were the number two seed heading into the championship as they led early and often in the set. Manitoba controlled the set as the attack of Evan Jackson and Ken Rooney coupled with tough serving from Luke Herr and Devren Dear expanded the lead at the tech TO (16-12) and then rode the momentum to impressive win 25-15. DeJonckheere (7), Jackson and Dear (6) plus Dustin Spiring and Rooney (4) led the way while the team hitting percentage was at .361.

In the third set, the Bisons was cruising with a four point lead as late as 20-16 when UNB would not refuse to let the set go as they rallied with a couple key blocks and kills then took the lead at 22-21. After a Bison timeout, the Herd answered by winning the match on four straight points after a Dear tip, UNB kill on the net, a big block by Rooney and then UNB went long on an attempted kill to end the match with a 25-22 third set win by Manitoba.

Manitoba’s Player of the Match was Ken Rooney had five kills on a strong .571 hitting percentage along with match-high four total blocks.

“I had no idea to what to expect today, stated Bison head coach and 2016-17 U SPORTS Coach of the Year Garth Pischke after the win. “I was happy for the guys and how the responded after yesterday’s loss. They played relaxed and took care of what we can do. Our serve reception helped with running the offence today.”

“We look forward to playing Laval as they are a good team and feisty. We expect it to be a good match and hopefully our team stays relaxed for the match.”

For Manitoba, Dear led with a match-high 13 kills, Jackson with nine kills and DeJonckheere with eight kills and Spiring at six kills. Herr added 34 assists with five digs and two service aces. Dear also added seven digs and 16 points. The Bisons had 43 kills on .360 hitting percentage and eight service aces.

UNB leader was Elvind Andersen with 12 kills and Samuel Alves added six kills. Mathieu Losier, Player of the Match for the Varsity Reds, with 27 assists and six digs while the Atlantic University Sport two-time defending champs were stymied to only .169 hitting percentage and 17 attack errors.

This was the first time the Bisons had qualified for the U SPORTS championship since the 2011-12 season and Manitoba was seeking a record 11th national championship in the program’s history. The Herd last won the U SPORTS championship in the 2002-03 season and was a bronze medallist in the previous appearance by Manitoba in 2012 nationals.

 

Players of the Match:

Ken Rooney – Manitoba

Mathieu Losier – UNB

 

Stats Leaders

Devren Dear – Manitoba with 13 kills

Elvind Andersen – UNB with 12 kills

 

Devren Dear – Manitoba with seven digs

Mathieu Losier – UNB with six digs

 

Ken Rooney – Manitoba with four total blocks

Elliott Allison – UNB with three total blocks

 

Luke Herr – Manitoba with 34 assists

Mathieu Losier – UNB with 27 assists

 

BISONS U SPORTS MEN’S VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES: In now 28 CIS MVB Championship appearances since 1978, Manitoba holds a 56-20 record in matches (73.7% win percentage). This was the first ever match-up between Manitoba and UNB in a U SPORTS championship. Manitoba did face the Varsity Reds earlier in the 2016-17 season in non-conference action when the Herd won 3-0 at home (25-23, 25-22, 25-21 on Oct. 14/16).

-University of Manitoba Bisons

Spencer Fernando is a columnist and reporter for MyToba News. You can read more of Spencer’s writing at his website SpencerFernando.com
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