Matt Packwood, Brandon University Athletics
BRANDON - The Brandon Bobcats picked up where they left off in Friday's home-opener, picking up a 3-1 (26-24, 17-25, 25-19, 25-21) win over the Saskatchewan Huskies on Saturday at the BU Healthy Living Centre.
A tough serve game, some big blocks, and an efficient attack early in the first frame set up the Bobcats early, but the Huskies battled back to start the second, rolling to an early 9-1 lead that they would not relinquish.
That would prove to be the only set all weekend the Bobcats would trail and subsequently drop, but Brandon settled back into their previous groove for the third and fourth sets, rolling to the victory.
The victory gives Brandon the weekend sweep, as well as three straight wins, as the young Bobcat team is starting to turn heads early in Canada West conference play.
The Bobcats outmatched the Huskies in team blocks (11 to 6), but that was the only dramatic difference in team stats.
Their play has certainly given the Bobcats momentum as they wrap up their second weekend of conference play, which they'll need as they enter the grind of the Canada West schedule.
"Scoring in all positions and finding ways to be able to terminate the ball made a big difference tonight," says interim head coach Kevin Neufeld. "We know we're a hard working team and we know we need to get contributions from everybody."
Nikala Majewski's 21 kills tied a career-high. The fourth-year outside also registered a double-double, picking up 10 digs. Rookie libero Caitlin Le also had 10 digs, while fellow rookie Sami Love had six blocks. Fifth-year setter Mary Thomson finished with 33 assists.
Carissa Noble paced the Huskies with 13 kills while former Bobcat Regan Wiebe had 12 in what was her first weekend of action back in Brandon. Shae Beaulieu had a match-high 24 digs for the Huskies.
Brandon now sits with a record of 3-1, while Saskatchewan is 1-3.
Another tough test lies ahead for the Bobcats as they head to Kamloops next weekend to play the Thompson Rivers WolfPack in a weekend series, while the Huskies will welcome the Winnipeg Wesmen for a pair of matches.
Photo courtesy Milana Paddock