Bobcat Kaela Cranston chases down Bison Allison Balasko Friday at BU. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
The Brandon University Bobcats women’s volleyball team proved they are a huge contender in Canada West on Friday night by knocking off the previously undefeated and top-ranked University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in their own barn.
The Bobcats (12-3), who are ranked second in the nation, got off to a rough start by dropping the first set 25-20 and fell behind 16-8 in the second set to UBC (14-1). However, Shanlee McLennan stepped back to the service line and broke down UBC’s passing to spark Brandon’s 3-1 (20-25, 25-21, 25-23, 26-24) victory.
"It was a great team win," BU head coach Lee Carter said by phone from Vancouver. "Every win is important and this was a good for us to believe we have a shot. Now that we have beaten the best, we know we have the opportunity. The challenge tomorrow will be to beat them again, because sometimes it’s harder to win after waking up the bear."
Vaovai Aiono led the Bobcats with nine kills and three aces, but it was their middles that made the difference. Lexi Loewen had eight kills and was part of nine blocks — six of which were stuffs — while Meaghan Robertson added seven kills and six stuff blocks.
The men’s match between the seventh-ranked Bobcats (7-7) and the fifth-ranked Thunderbirds (9-5) was still playing at press time.
Brandon and UBC’s men’s and women’s volleyball teams face each other again today.
» Brandon Sun
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 18, 2014