Bison women dominated U of M athletics

The many memorable moments of U of M women athletes

Throughout the year, the U of M athletes have produced numerous monumental sporting highlights.

Although there have been many memorable moments this year, this article will call attention to women’s athletics, focusing on their achievements across Bison sports.


Although one may assume football is a sport dominated by men, Maya Turner made a name for herself in 2022, breaking down those barriers to become the first woman to score in a U Sports football game.

Turner kicked a 25-yard field goal against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies in the Bisons’ pre-season in August of that year, ultimately making history for Bison athletics while carving a new path for women in sports.

Turner made history in November 2023 as well, becoming the first woman to score points in a post-season game.

Turner continues to make waves as she kicks her way into the hearts of Bison fans.


The women’s hockey team performed well throughout the season.

The team finished sixth in the CanWest standings and made the playoffs.

Emily Shippam, the U of M’s goalie, had a great year. She was named the CanWest hockey athlete of the week back in January, earning the distinction after saving 72 shots over the span of two games.

Overall, she finished the season with five wins and two shutouts.

As new recruits make their way to the team for the 2024-2025 season, the women’s hockey team will hope to build on its momentum from last season as Shippam backstops it all.


The University of Manitoba made a splash this year, as athletes Ella Howe and Kesley Fillion had an amazing year.

Howe and Fillion both qualified for the Olympic trials and both got gold medals in CanWest competition.

Both individually and collectively, the women’s team had a great season.

In an interview with the Manitoban, Georgia Pengilly, a member of the team, offered some advice for young women entering university athletics, which should resonate with all women who are struggling to find footing in a male-dominated industry.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there,” she said. “Be proud of yourself.”

As Pengilly’s time with Bison Athletics comes to an end, she reflects on her time with the swim team and the opportunities the U of M has provided her.

Pengilly told the Manitoban that she “learned so much,” while taking the time to express how “very grateful for swimming and Bison sports” she is.


The U of M women’s volleyball team absolutely dominated this year, winning the gold medal at the CanWest championship.

The U of M continued to crush the competition, advancing to the U Sports Championship in which it placed third.

Raya Surinx, one of the best university volleyball players in Canada, led the way for the herd, notching the most kills in the country with 388.

Surinx speculates that her and her teammates’ success has significantly increased interest in women’s volleyball. She noted to the Manitoban that going to the U of M, which tries to foster equality across mens’ and womens’ sports, has made a big difference, too: “in high school, it was not good, but getting to the U of M, it was such a big change.”

“Suddenly,” she went on to say, “we were respected, we were promoted, people cared, people came to games.”

With women’s athletics getting the recognition it deserves, Surinx encouraged future and current Bison women athletes to keep going:

“If you love it, stick with it,” she said, ”No matter what skill level you are at, you always have a chance. If you love it, just keep going with it.”

Indeed, Surinx’s encouragement to girls can equally go out to women of all levels and ages in all sports — no matter one’s skill level, one should always have a chance to play and the opportunities to keep playing.