Bisons volleyball squads dominate against Griffins

Women’s and men’s teams sweep MacEwan, climb CanWest standings

After a much needed winter break — they are student-athletes, after all — the Bisons women’s and men’s volleyball teams were back in action this past weekend, squaring off against the MacEwan University Griffins in Edmonton.

Going into the winter break, the women’s volleyball team was ranked as the eighth-best team in the country. In the CanWest standings, MacEwan trailed the Bisons by two points prior to this weekend’s series. At 9-3, the Griffins looked to surpass the herd (10-2) on their home court.

The Bisons, however, had other ideas.

In the first match, the herd took the first two sets by narrow margins, winning 25-23 and 26-24.

The Griffins responded in the third set, fighting back and taking it 26-24.

Nonetheless, led by Raya Surinx’s work-horse performance, the herd regrouped and took the deciding fourth set 25-22, and the match 3-1.

Displaying superhuman stamina, Surinx poured in 23 kills on 59 attacks. Yes — 59.

Not to be outdone, Brenna Bedosky — who has been playing better and better with each passing game — added nine kills from the middle.

In the rematch, after a close 25-22 first-set win for the Bisons, the herd asserted complete control, thundering over the Griffins with sound, disciplined, machine-like volleyball.

As the herd took the game 3-0 in straight sets, it was once again led by Surinx, who accumulated 15 kills, giving her a CanWest-leading 233. Not only does she lead CanWest in kills, she leads decidedly by 45.

Libero Julia Arnold also played great, digging up eight Griffin attacks. She now sits second in CanWest with 3.52 digs per set and second in total digs with 169.

With the sweep, the herd manufactured an eight-point cushion between it and the Griffins. The team is now fourth in the CanWest standings with a very respectable record of 12-2.

The men’s volleyball team was riding a five-game winning streak in CanWest play entering its first match against the Griffins last Friday.

The lowly Griffins, ranked dead last in the CanWest standings and still looking for their first win of the regular season, gave the herd a run for its money in the first set, taking it — somewhat surprisingly — 27-25.

Nonetheless, possibly instigated and ignited by that minor blip, the herd proceeded to trounce the Griffins, winning the first match 3-1 and sweeping the second 3-0.

In the first game, Spencer Grahame led the way for the herd, serving a game-high 22 kills and looking extremely confident while doing so.

Eric Ogaranko also played very well in the first match, exhibiting a versatile, well-rounded game. On offence, he got 13 kills with an efficient .440 hitting percentage, and on defence, he scrounged up 12 digs. In the second match, the Bisons throttled an uninspired Griffins team, winning the first set 25-14, the second 25-18 and the third 25-21.

Reportedly, the Griffins’ head coach lamented his team’s poor performance after the second match, attributing it to a lack of desire to play on his players’ part. Perhaps the resumption of the season came too early for the Griffins’ liking.

Despite a tepid showing from its opposition, this Bisons team won based on its own merit.

Grahame had another brilliant game, registering 16 kills and two service aces, while Ogaranko matched his dig-output from the previous match with 12.

After a couple of victories over a winless Griffins team, the herd has moved itself into fifth place in the CanWest standings and extended its winning streak to seven games.


The Bisons volleyball teams will each face a stiff test as they play host to the powerhouse Trinity Western University Spartans Jan. 12 and 13, whose men’s team is the reigning U Sports national champions, and whose women’s team boasts a flawless record of 12-0 this season.