Brandon Bobcats left side Jaryn Ruether hammers the ball past Erika Buchanan (middle) and Ellina Domnidou of the Winnipeg Wesmen during women’s volleyball action Friday night at Brandon University. (COLIN CORNEAU/THE BRANDON SUN)
For the second straight night, the Brandon University Bobcats women’s volleyball team struggled to get its offence on track.
The Bobcats (0-4) were successful on only 7.5 per cent of their attacks as they lost their Canada West conference home opener 3-0 (25-12, 25-14, 25-17) to the visiting Winnipeg Wesmen (3-1) Friday night at the BU gymnasium.
However, the Bobcats men’s team battled back last night for its first win of the season, beating the Wesmen 3-1 (26-28, 25-13, 25-18, 25-19).
In women’s action, Brandon’s attack struggled in both of the matches they played in the home-and-home series against Winnipeg, but the reasons were very different. On Thursday, the Bobcats passing was off but acting head coach Becky Young — filling in while Lee Carter is away from the team due to the Brandon University Faculty Association strike — said the Bobcats’ issues on Friday came from their inability to finish.
"Winnipeg obviously outworked us 100 per cent on defence," she said. "They were digging up balls that most teams wouldn’t dig, but at the same time we were passing the ball really well, we were in system a lot and when we’re in system we need to put the ball away and that part of the game was not working tonight. I’m sure there can be many different reasons for that, but ultimately … we need to put the ball away when we’re in system like that."
Young was frustrated after the match and believes there are a number of factors to the Bobcats’ 0-4 start to the season, but she thinks the most important thing is for the coaching staff and players to work together better. She believes that will lead to the team taking what they do in practices into the games.
Second-year middle Meaghan Robertson, who led the Bobcats with 10 kills, believes things will get better for Brandon. She pointed out that the Bobcats played better as Friday’s match wore on, especially in the third set when they played "as if they had nothing to lose." She’s hoping they can take that momentum with them as they host the Trinity Western Spartans (2-0), who are ranked 10th in the country, next weekend at the BU gym.
"We get better every game," Robertson said. "It’s frustrating that we can’t win, but we’re get better, so we’re a little more confident."
Meanwhile, in the later men’s match Ben Glue had 21 kills and eight digs while Paul Robidoux added 15 kills and 12 digs in the Brandon win.
The Bobcats (1-3) rebounded from a difficult finish to the first set, which ended on attack errors by Glue and Robidoux, by dominating the second set, leading from start to finish.
The Bobcats continued to dominate the rest of the match. Winnipeg took an early 4-2 lead in the third set and scored the first point in the fourth set, but those were the only advantages the Wesmen had until the final whistle.
BOBCAT BITS: New Zealand rookie right side Ben Glue of the men’s volleyball team was named the Bobcats’ Tip Top Tailors male athlete of the month for October. Veteran forward Jaynell Gillett of the women’s basketball team was named the Pantages on Park Salon and Spa female athlete of the month.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition November 5, 2011