WINNIPEG - The University of Saskatchewan Huskies pushed the University of Manitoba Bison women's volleyball team to five sets in the season opener at Investors Group Athletic Centre Friday night and won 3-2.
The Bisons are now 0-1 after going 4-6 in the preseason.
Saskatchewan's Emmalyn Copping led both teams with 14 kills, while Manitoba's Jordana Milne had 13 in the losing effort.
Both teams brought strong offensive games in the first. The Bisons and Huskies battled through the set, going point-for-point off powerful attacks and solid court coverage. Manitoba's Jordana Milne and Saskatchewan's Emily Humbert each had six kills in the set, but the Bisons came out on top and won 25-20.
The close game continued in the second with strong blocks and kills from both sides. The Bisons dominated the final rallies of the set after a Saskatchewan attack error gave Manitoba the serve and a 22-21 advantage. The Bisons then scored three consecutive points on attack errors and a kill from Lexi Janovcik to take the set 25-20.
But the Bisons lost momentum in the third and never recovered.
The Huskies opened the set with three consecutive kills from Emmalyn Copping and continued to capitalize on Manitoba's defensive mistakes, eventually taking the set 25-16.
Saskatchewan led for the rest of the game, while Manitoba faltered. Midway through the fourth, the Bisons surrendered the serve on a player count violation. The home team rallied after the call, but couldn't muster up enough offense to win. A long Huskies serve kept the game alive at match point, but Saskatchewan held on to win the set 25-22.
The Huskies opened the fifth with four straight points. Manitoba regained some of the power they seemed to lose after the second set, but the Bisons couldn't break through Saskatchewan's dominant offense and lost the fifth 15-10 and the game 3-2.
The Bisons will look for redemption in the second game of this doubleheader on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Investors Group Athletic Centre.