A 3-1 record and the chance to try out a few different looks on the floor were enough to give head coach Grant Wilson a good feeling about the Brandon Bobcats’ effort at Mount Royal University’s Men’s Winter Volleyball Classic.
The Bobcats wrapped up the round-robin tournament with a 3-1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-18, 25-14) victory over the Dalhousie Tigers on Friday afternoon in Calgary.
“Overall, it was a situation where we got to get lots of guys in and put in different situations and overall, I thought we handled the adversity pretty well,” Wilson said. “And I thought we got better as a team, so that was kind of the goal coming in.”
Sam Tuivai led the Bobcats with 16 kills, three blocks and three digs, while Craig Lowe contributed 10 kills, a block and seven digs. Roy Ching chipped in with nine kills, seven blocks and five digs for BU, with D.J. McCharles adding nine kills, four blocks and eight digs.
Still adjusting to the loss of Americans Rob McLean and Randy Preval, who left at the Christmas break, Wilson believes the tournament allowed the Bobcats, ranked seventh in the CIS, to develop more flexibility for the second semester.
“That was the plan coming out here, knowing that we were a little thinner on the bench, that we were going to have to find a away to make things work,” he said. “Come league play, we certainly still have kind of our starting group, but if we need to make changes for whatever reasons, whether it’s injury or somebody struggling, we want to be able to have a little bit of flexibility, and I think we gained that by the experience we gained this week.”
With a 9-3 Canada West record, the Bobcats resume conference play on Jan. 10 in Langley, B.C., when they visit the Trinity Western Spartans, ranked third in the country.
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