HUSKIES HOLD ON FOR WIN OVER BOBCATS2013-01-25
The No. 8 ranked University of Saskatchewan Huskies held off a No. 6 ranked Brandon University Bobcats comeback bid with a 3-1 (25-17, 25-19, 22-25, 25-23) win Friday night at the PAC in Saskatoon.
After the Huskies sailed to wins in the first two sets of the match, Brandon’s offence came to life in the third set forcing a fourth frame. But after being down for the majority the fourth, Saskatchewan’s veteran athletes secured the team’s win.
With the win the Huskies improve to 11-6 on the season, while the Bobcats drop to 10-7. Both teams are in the fight for a home playoff date, making the weekend series of extra importance.
After Roy Ching pulled the Bobcats within one at 4-3, Saskatchewan took control of the first set leading by no less than five points throughout. Outside hitter Bryan Fraser and middle blocker Braden McLean each had three kills en route to the 25-17 win.
Brandon opened the second set 7-3 but kills by Fraser, Joel Dyck, Matthew Busse, Paul Thompson and a Chris Gilbert service ace gave the Huskies an 11-8 lead. The Huskies were the first to 16 points, but Brandon capitalized on Saskatchewan errors and pulled within two at 17-15. A block by Sam Tuivai tied the set at 18. Saskatchewan took back the lead on the next ball after a Tuivai attack error and kept the lead to the 25-19 win.
The Bobcats opened the third set with a lead once again, but Saskatchewan was able to tie the game at 10. Brandon once again pulled away but kills by Busse and Fraser tied the set at 12. Trading points to remain tied at 16, a Dan Boutwell attack down the middle gave the Bobcats the lead. Boutwell blocked the next Huskie attack to give his team a two-point lead. The Huskies battled and a Boutwell attack sailed long to tie the game again. Saskatchewan took the lead after an ace. After tying at 20, a block on a Busse kill gave Brandon a lead. Their lead held to the 25-22 win.
Not wasting anytime, the Huskies went up 3-0 in the fourth. Two attack errors by Fraser and an ace by Ching gave Brandon a 9-8 lead. Saskatchewan tied the game at 12 after a Dyck ace and a wide Brandon attack, but the Bobcats pulled right back ahead on the next play. Brandon took back control and was the first to 16. The Huskies were able to tie the game at 22 when a Brandon attack sailed out the back line. Two Thompson kills and a McLean and Fraser block gave the Huskies a 25-23 win.
Tuivai led the Bobcats with a match-high 16 kills, while Ching added another 10. Scott Neufeld recorded a match-high 15 digs.
Thomson led the Huskies on the night with 14 kills, followed by Fraser with 11 and Dyck with 10. Gilbert and Fraser each had 11 digs in the match, while Matthew Busse had three solo blocks.
The two teams will meet again Saturday night at the PAC. First serve is scheduled for 8 p.m.