Matt Gutsch - Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics
EDMONTON – The University of Alberta Golden Bears volleyball team won their sixth consecutive match against their inter-city rivals, the MacEwan University Griffins, on Friday night at the Saville Community Sports Centre with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-15) straight sets win.
Need to know: Alberta has now won 6 straight matches against MacEwan, and has only dropped one set to Griffins since they joined Canada West in 2014-15 Game Star: Taylor Arnett (UofA) – 16 kills, .296 hitting %, 4 digs Game Star: Max Vriend (MacEwan) – 11 kills, .304 hitting %, 1 ace, 2 digs Stat Line: Golden Bears – 47 kills, 17 errors, 85 attacks, .353%, 44 assists, 4 aces, 10 serve errors, 4 receive errors, 29 digs, 7.5 total blocks. Griffins – 25 kills, 15 errors, 77 attacks, .130%, 23 assists, 4 aces, 7 serve errors, 4 receive errors, 15 digs, 5 total blocks
Alberta, ranked No.1 in the country, improves to 4-0 on the season, while the Griffins drop to 0-6. The Golden Bears are back in action next weekend when they travel to Winnipeg to take on the Manitoba Bisons, while the Griffins head west to Langley, B.C. for a two game series against the defending national champion Trinity Western Spartans.
One night previously, at MacEwan, the Griffins recorded their first ever set victory against Alberta, pushing the Bears to four sets before ultimately falling 3-1. On Friday night, in the competition gym at Saville, MacEwan got off to a decent start, thanks in part to six attack errors and five service errors by Alberta, combined with eight kills by Barrhead native, and sophomore Griffin, Max Vriend. Although Alberta won the set 25-20, it looked like perhaps an extra set was in the cards once again.
The Golden Bears made another six attack errors and an additional four serve errors in the second set, but the trio of third-year Alex McMullin, fifth-year Taylor Arnett and sophomore Carter McIntyre banked four kills each to power the home side to a 25-21 win, and a 2-0 match lead.
That momentum carried into the third set and Arnett, an academic all-Canadian in the U of A's Faculty of Science, put down another seven kills as the Bears closed out the night with a 25-15 win and the straight sets victory.
Arnett, a CIS all-Canadian last season, finished the game with a match high 16 kills, while McMullin and McIntyre added 13 and 10 respectively. MacEwan was paced by Vriend's 11 kills, while Kai Hesthammer banked seven kills.