Bisons win Duckworth Challenge after women’s volleyball beats Wesmen

Photo by Chantal Zdan.

The University of Manitoba women’s volleyball team defeated the Winnipeg Wesmen 3-1 (15-25, 26-24, 25-20, 26-24), at the Investors Group Athletic Centre on Thursday.

The University of Manitoba has now won the Duckworth Challenge for the fourth straight year, as the women’s volleyball win gives the school a 3-1-1 victory over the University of Winnipeg.

“It’s about the school, and winning it for our school,” head coach Jon Hykawy said about the Duckworth Challenge. “It was great for me to be involved in it, and I learnt a lot about it.”

Winnipeg dominated the first set, but Manitoba stormed back and took three consecutive sets to win the match.

“Winnipeg came out ready to play, they were hitting the ball and more aggressive than us,” Hykawy said. “We defended the court better in the last three sets, and that’s what helped us.”

Manitoba’s Kearley Abbott, and Winnipeg’s Maria Colvin were named Duckworth Challenge players of the game.

Manitoba got out to an 8-5 lead in the first set, but Winnipeg replied with six unanswered points, and never looked back on their way to the 25-15 first set win. The herd committed ten attacking errors, while Winnipeg only committed two within the set, which was a major factor in how the set played out.

The second set was very close, with the teams tied at six early on. The visitors led the set 23-22, heading into a Manitoba timeout. On the very next play, Abbott smashed in a kill to tie the set. Josie Abbott followed up with a kill of her own, as the herd held a 24-23 lead. Maria Colvin answered back for Winnipeg to tie the set at 24. The home side was up to the task with another Kearley kill, and won the set 26-24 on a Winnipeg attack error. Josie led Manitoba with five kills in the set, and her sister Kearley with another three.

The Bisons carried momentum over into the third set, starting off with three unanswered points, but Winnipeg stormed back and took a 7-5 lead. The herd came back to put up eight unanswered points, taking a 13-7 lead.

The Bisons led for the remainder of the set. Tori Studler came up with a kill on set point, and Manitoba took the set 25-20. Kearley came up big for the home side, smashing down seven kills in the set.

The herd carried more momentum into the final set, where they scored five unanswered points to take a 9-5 lead early in the frame. The visitors raced back, and took a 16-15 lead, forcing Hykawy to call a timeout for the home side.

Manitoba responded, scoring five unanswered points after the time out, including three kills and a service ace. Winnipeg made it close, but Manitoba squeaked out another 26-24 set victory, giving the Bisons the win.


Manitoba and Winnipeg will do battle again on Saturday, Jan..7 at the University of Winnipeg.