BRANDON, Man. (from Brandon Bobcats) — The Brandon Bobcats emerged with a massive victory after a marathon five-set thriller against the Mount Royal Cougars in matinee Canada West men’s volleyball action.
The win boosts BU’s record to 15-and-6 and keeps them in fourth-place in the conference standings, which comes with home court advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.
Brandon was like a brick wall to open the contest with the team registering seven total blocks. The Bobcats built up early leads of 8-4 and 12-5 before going into the technical timeout leading 16-7. Mount Royal made things interesting with a late rally, but they could not complete the comeback.
The second set saw the Bobcats hold a slim three-point advantage at 10-7, before doubling their lead at the technical timeout to 16-10. The cushion was comfortable enough to put BU in the drivers seat.
Mount Royal rebounded by leading 10-5 to start the third set. The Cougars were up 16-13 at the technical timeout, before the Bobcats bounced back to tie it 17-17. BU was up 21-20 late in the third, but the Cougars countered with a quick 3-0 run that allowed them to stave off the sweep.
The Cougars forced a final set after coming out on top in the fourth. The Bobcats made a pair of substitutions in the fourth by bringing in veterans Liam Matheson and Daven Pascal. The lineup changes proved critical down the stretch with Matheson notching nine kills and Pascal playing near perfect, putting away seven kills on eight attempts.
Despite leading 6-3 in the fifth, the Bobcats had to fight to the bitter end to earn their home court win. Brandon saved three match points to win in dramatic fashion.
Elliott Viles and Seth Friesen paced Brandon’s offence with 14 kills each. Reece Dixon had a double-double with 44 assists and 14 digs as the Bobcats extended their winning streak to four straight.
Mount Royal’s attack was powered by Riley Friesen and Tyler Schmidt, who scored 22 kills.
Brandon and Mount Royal meet in Saturday’s rematch at the Healthy Living Centre in the Bobcats’ final home match of the regular season.