Around-the-horns, vol. 2

What the Bisons have been up to in July

Bisons basketball

The 2022-23 Bisons, Canada West and U Sports national male Rookie of the Year Simon Hildebrandt continues to be a vital part of the amazing inaugural Winnipeg Sea Bears season that just keeps on giving.

On July 14, the Sea Bears clinched a berth in the post-season with their 96-88 win over the Montreal Alliance, becoming the first Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) Western Conference team to do so this season.

Hildebrandt played a crucial part in the game that leveraged the Sea Bears into their first-ever playoffs. The six-foot-nine forward had a massive game, racking up 15 points — third overall for the Sea Bears — leading the team with seven rebounds, sinking three three-pointers and registering the sole Sea Bears steal of the night.

And with the out-of-town scoreboards adding a little help July 20, the Sea Bears have officially clinched a home playoff game. The team will host the Western Conference Semifinal game Aug. 6 at Canada Life Centre.

If the semifinal campaign is successful, the Sea Bears will play the Western Conference Final Aug. 11 in Langley, B.C. The CEBL Championship Final is scheduled for Aug. 13, also in Langley.


Bisons volleyball

Team Canada finished 11th at the 2023 Fédération Internationale de Volleyball Men’s U21 (under 21) World Championships that took place from July 7 to 16 in Manama, Bahrain. And four Bisons men’s volleyball players — who all hail from the province of Manitoba — were involved in the tournament.

Jonah Dueck finished the tournament with 34 points and 36 blocks — the most of the four Bison players — and 8 digs. Samuel Ludwig finished the tournament with 5 points, 4 blocks and 7 digs.

Spencer Grahame finished with 16 points, 3 blocks and 5 digs. His best game of the tournament was against host nation Bahrain, where he racked up 14 points, the most points of any Bison player in the tournament in a single game.

And last, but most definitely not least, Josh Jehle led all Bisons players in digs, registering 70 in the tournament. His best game also came against Bahrain, where he registered 14 digs. In fact, Jehle had four games in the tournament where he racked up double-digit digs.

The two other Bisons connections on the team were in the coaching staff. Both Bisons men’s volleyball head coach Arnd (Lupo) Ludwig and assistant coach Mike Stephens were named head coach and an assistant coach of the U21 national team, respectively.

Even though Canada only placed 11th in the tournament, the team did go 5-3, finishing the tournament on a high note with its third win against Team India.

Not to be outdone by their Bisons men’s volleyball teammates, Bisons women’s volleyball players Raya Surinx and Ella Gray have been playing for Team Canada in the 2023 U23 Women’s North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation Pan American Cup this past week, from July 16 to 23 in Hermosillo, Mexico.

Bisons 2022-23 female Rookie of the Year Surinx finished the tournament ranked number 1 on Team Canada and seventh overall for points, with 69 total. She also registered 5 blocks and 38 digs. Ella Gray finished the tournament with 10 points, 1 block and 13 digs.

Team Canada placed just out of the top four, finishing fifth in the tournament after beating Cuba in the final game in three straight sets.