BRANDON – The Brandon Bobcats earned a huge weekend sweep over the Saskatchewan Huskies thanks to a 3-1 (22-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-18) win Saturday night.
The win gives the 'Cats a modest winning streak after the holiday break in what could be the most important season in program history as the team prepares to host its first CIS national championship.
Saskatchewan rebounded from Friday's loss in the first set on Saturday, keeping pace with the Bobcats before going on a 6-1 run late in the frame to take the first.
The second set was highlighted by seven straight points by the Bobcats to take their lead to 10-4. The Bobcats firmly kept their foot on the gas pedal in the second and third sets, despite a lot of fight from the Huskies.
The Bobcats jumped to an early lead in the fourth set, and wouldn't relinquish their lead, before closing out the match on service error from the Huskies.
Gillian Leech had one of the best nights of her young career, notching 14 kills and three aces. Fifth-year left-side Shanlee McLennan recorded a double-double (13 kills, 16 digs) while Courtney Roberts finished with 13 kills on 24 swings to go with six blocks.
In her second start for the Bobcats since joining the team mid-way through last semester, second year setter Natasha Rupa had a career-high 50 assists. Donata Hubert registered a match-high 20 digs.
The Huskies were paced by Taylor Annala's match-high 15 digs, but also registered 15 errors. Emily Humbert finished with 11 kills while Josie Leduc had 10. Jennifer Hueser had 18 digs and Jina Barker had 44 assists.
This weekend's sweep couldn't have come at a more crucial time for the Bobcats as they prepare to host the CIS national championships this March. To pick up a pair of win's against a tough Canada West opponent gives the Bobcats a mental boost....
"It's a great way to start 2016. We know that we have a team that can scrap and play, and we just want to make sure that we achieve that," says Carter. "We kept our heads cool under some scrambly situations. Saskatchewan elevated their game quite a bit today and challenged us in different ways that we had to progress and learn. It was not necessarily the prettiest volleyball at times, but we did enough to win the long rallies."
The win improves the Bobcats record to 5-9 while the Huskies fall to 6-8. Up next for Brandon is a road trip to Vancouver to play the UBC Thunderbirds next weekend. Saskatchewan is on the road again, this time headed west to Kamloops to play the Thompson Rivers WolfPack.