Bisons lose weekend opener to WolfPack 3-1

Bisons lose weekend opener to WolfPack 3-1

By Danielle Doiron

WINNIPEG, MB – The University of Manitoba Bisons women's volleyball team lost their seventh in a row on Friday, Feb. 3 night. The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack took the first game of the weekend set 3-1 (Bisons listed first: 25-8, 18-25, 21-25, 16-25) at Investors Group Athletic Centre.
 
With the win, the WolfPack improves to 9-8 this season, while Manitoba falls to 6-13.
 
Thompson Rivers' Iuliia Pakhomenko, one of Canada West's leading attackers, had 21 kills. Sarah Klassen and Rachel Windhorst each put up 10 for the Bisons and the WolfPack, respectively.
 
Manitoba dominated the first set. The home side jumped out to a 10-2 lead, after Sarah Klassen recorded two early kills and put up a solid serving effort. From there, the Bisons were unstoppable. Manitoba led Thompson Rivers 16-4 at the technical timeout and later won six consecutive rallies to take the set 25-8.
 
But Thompson Rivers put up a fight in the second. The Bisons led 9-6 until the WolfPack won six rallies in a row, including one on an Avery Pottle service ace. Manitoba later brought the set within one, but the home side could never fully catch up. The WolfPack won five of the final six rallies of the set, eventually taking the second 25-18 on a Pakhomenko kill.
 
The teams were neck-and-neck through the entire third set. Unlike in the first and second, neither the Bisons nor the WolfPack won more than four rallies in a row at any point. Pakhomenko stood out with five kills and a service ace to help Thompson Rivers win the set 25-21.
 
The Bisons got off to a solid start in the fourth before the WolfPack sent them scrambling. Manitoba was up 12-8 when a Josie Abbott attack error cost the home side the serve. The Thompson Rivers offence quickly won eight of the next 10 rallies to take a 16-14 lead. Manitoba once again brought the set within one but couldn't overcome Pakhomenko's work from the attack line. The veteran had nine kills in the set alone, including three in a row that capped off the final rallies of the game. Thompson Rivers ended up winning the set 25-16 and the match 3-1.
 
The Bisons play their last home game of the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 4:30 p.m. CT at Investors Group Athletic Centre, when two Bison graduating players (Sarah Klassen and Caleigh Dobie) will be celebrated for their five years with the Bisons.
 
Set scores
(Bisons listed first): 25-8, 18-25, 21-25, 16-25
 
Kill leaders
MAN: Sarah Klassen (10)
TRU: Iuliia Pakhomenko (21)
 
Assist leaders
MAN: Sydney Booker (27)
TRU: Abby Spratt (32)
 
Dig leaders
MAN: Josie Abbott (12)
TRU: Rachel Windhorst (16)