Bisons volleyball clashes with powerhouse Spartans

Women sweep flawless Trinity Western, men fall to U Sports champions

Coming off a successful weekend in Edmonton, the Bisons women’s and men’s volleyball teams hosted a fiery series against the Trinity Western University Spartans this past weekend.

Looking to add to its impressive 10-game win streak, the women’s volleyball team was up against a difficult test. The Spartans had a perfect 12-0 record heading into the match.

In Friday’s game, the Spartans came out strong and took the first set 25-22, despite the Bisons having 19 kills on the set to the Spartans’ 14.

Regardless, the Bisons demonstrated why they are ranked eighth in the nation. The team took the next three sets in a row, winning 25-18, 25-20 and 25-22, respectively, and handing the Spartans their first loss of the season.

Setter Katreena Bentley’s performance was essential to the Bisons’ attack, producing a formidable 45 assists along with 12 digs, three service aces and a season-high four kills.

Raya Surinx and Light Uchechukwu led the attack against the Spartans. The players had 19 and 13 kills, respectively.

Saturday’s game ended up being a five-set thriller. Each team had multiple standout performances, with the Bisons coming out on top 3-2.

The Spartans, perhaps mulling over their broken win streak, caught the Bisons off guard and took set one 25-18.

However, the Bisons immediately fired back with a dominating response, taking the second 25-10.

This pattern would repeat once more, the Spartans battling back to take set three 25-18 and the Bisons dominating the fourth 25-17.

The Spartans were fatigued from defending the herd’s impeccably placed attacks, and the Bisons won the fifth set 15-7, coming up with an impressive weekend sweep.

Surinx improved on Friday’s numbers by adding 20 kills, along with 13 digs.

Julia Arnold also had a standout weekend performance with a combined total of 28 digs. This puts her first in the CanWest standings for overall digs with an astounding 197.

With the weekend sweep, the women’s team climbs to second place in the CanWest conference boasting a record of 14-2.

The men’s volleyball team struggled to find the same success as the women’s team did this weekend.

The herd was also up against a difficult opponent, taking on the reigning U Sports national men’s volleyball champions. Friday’s game started off well for the Bisons, the team taking an early first-set lead. However, the Spartans battled back to take the set 27-25.

The second set kept fans on the edge of their seats, as the herd traded points with the Spartans until the very end, UBC coming out on top 25-21.

Perhaps encouraged by their efforts in the previous set, the Bisons took the third 25-15.

The fourth set was again evenly matched, but with 13 unforced errors committed by the Bisons, the Spartans took the set 25-23, along with the win.

Regardless of the loss, many players showed up against the Spartans. Spencer Grahame had 14 kills and nine digs, and both Jonah Dueck and Jordon Heppner made four assisted blocks.

Sammy Ludwig provided 38 assists to his team along with a solid defensive performance, rounding up a team-high 13 digs.

However, Saturday’s game was a much less inspiring showing from the Bisons as they ended up getting swept 3-0 on the day.

The Bisons came close to a win in the second set, but the Spartans were simply more effective in their kills on the night.

Libero Josh Jehle added to his impressive dig count, obtaining 19 digs over the weekend. This puts him at 138 so far on the season, good for second place in the CanWest standings for overall digs. After losing to the Spartans, the men’s team fell to sixth in CanWest with a record of 10-6.


The Bisons volleyball teams will head to Vancouver to take on the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds Jan. 19 and 20.