With the Duckworth Challenge settled, the U of M Bisons and University of Winnipeg Wesmen still had conference obligations to fulfill over the weekend.
Yet if you were a fan watching you would think it was more of the same, as four sweeps were completed between the programs.
There was no vengeance for the women, while the men walked off the court happy Saturday. The women were swept and the men did the sweeping to finish off the rivalry series.
Although it fared better in game two, the women’s basketball team could not withstand a fourth-quarter wave from the Wesmen in a 90-83 loss.
All seemed well early on as the teams traded quarters, with the U of W outscoring the U of M 27-19 in the first and the Bisons returning the favour 26-18 in the second.
The two sides went into halftime tied 45-45 and the herd looked to pull away.
It did just that in the third quarter, erasing a five-point lead by the Wesmen and using a triplet of threes to build up a gap.
Good shooting the rest of the way helped the U of M to a 69-61 lead heading into the fourth quarter, where it all fell apart for the Bisons.
Despite holding the lead through the early part of the quarter, the U of W was able to chip away at the deficit, eventually getting ahead thanks to Lena Wenke.
The Wesmen held the lead and used a five-point run to finish off the Bisons 90-83.
The loss drops the U of M to 2-4 on the season and a three-way tie for 12th in the conference.
While the women walked away empty-handed on the weekend, the men continued a strong season by beating the Wesmen 77-71 Saturday for the sweep.
The game was fairly even through two quarters, with the Bisons holding a slight edge 37-34 at halftime.
The U of W came back in the third quarter — outscoring the U of M 19-17 — to shorten the Bisons lead to just a point.
Like with the women’s game, the fourth quarter was where the game was won.
A Don Dayrit three-pointer wrested the lead away from the Bisons, and the Wesmen held the advantage until a James Wagner jumper tied things back up at 63-63. From there, the Bisons built a healthy lead the Wesmen could not overcome, en route to a 77-71 win.
The U of M now sits 5-1 on the season, tied for fifth in the conference and two wins back of the first-place University of Alberta Golden Bears.
It is tough to be a Bisons volleyball player right now.
Despite some improvement Saturday, the men’s and women’s clubs could not overcome a strong Wesmen front and were swept at home by identical 3-1 scores.
The men got things started, showing some promise with an early-set win in a match loss.
The U of M dominated in the opening set, using a split 7-2 run to build a 9-4 lead before a U of W timeout.
Coming out of the break, the Bisons kept up the pressure leading to a 25-16 first-set win.
The Wesmen responded with a 25-21 second-set win to tie the match and followed up with a tight 26-24 third-set win, weathering a Bisons storm to get the advantage. The fourth set turned out to be the last, as the Bisons could not withstand the Wesmen attack in a 25-18 loss.
The U of W took the set, match and, with that, the weekend.
The Bisons now sit ninth in the conference at 3-5.
Like the men’s side, the Bisons women’s volleyball team had trouble coming back against the Wesmen in a tough 3-1 loss.
The Wesmen came out strong in the opening set with a 25-18 win to take an early 1-0 lead in the match. On its heels, the U of M struck back with a lopsided set win of its own, 25-19 in the second to tie things up.
The third set — a 25-20 Wesmen win — was a bit closer, but it was the fourth and final set where fans got their money’s worth.
The U of W jumped out of the gate strong, slamming down kills to an early 6-2 lead. After a timeout, the Bisons rallied with a run to close the gap to 6-5 and from there it became a slugfest.
The two sides traded scores, building leads only for them to be brought down. Then, after an Emma Parker error got the U of M even at 17-17, the U of W was done playing games.
A massive 7-0 run buried the herd, with the only relief coming off an Ashleigh Laube error. Parker made up for her earlier mistake by powering down the final kill to give the Wesmen the win and the sweep.
The losses over the weekend drop the Bisons to 2-8 on the season, tied for 10th in the conference.
The U of M was thoroughly dominated across the board in a tough Duckworth weekend, losing six of eight games against the Wesmen.
Only the men’s basketball team provided a bit of light in a dark stretch for the U of M’s court clubs.