Golden Bears Volleyball
With starters John Goranson and Kevin Proudfoot not in the lineup, the Bears continued to struggle with consistency. On Friday, left sides Ryley Barnes and Ryan Nickifor put up 19 and 17 kills respectively to lift the Bears to a 3-2 win over the Manitoba Bisons. That grinding five-set victory was followed up by a 3-1 loss on Saturday in which the Bears seemed to come to life and lose it again. In the first two sets, the Bears looked shaky to say the least, being outhit and out-blocked by a plucky Bisons team that came in ready for the upset victory. But in the third set, the Bears stormed back and dominated the ninth-ranked team in the nation 25-15, and it seemed as though a comeback was imminent. Despite the bipolar swing in momentum, the Bears simply couldn’t maintain their game, losing the deciding set 25-21. The Volley Bears will be looking to rebound next week with two home games against the visiting Regina Cougars.
The Pandas looked every inch the best team in the nation on Friday night, shellacking the Manitoba Bisons to the tune of a 3-0 win. The Pandas dominated the serve line and out-killed the Bisons by nearly 20 per cent on the night. Winning battles all over the court, the Pandas made last year’s national champions look distinctly average. As with all teams with championship pedigree, the Bisons stormed back on Saturday night. The Pandas simply could not answer the challenge of the reinvigorated Bisons who found a way to win in straight sets. After two straight 26-24 losses in the first two sets, the Pandas seemed deflated in the third. Losing key rallies and giving up leads early in the set led to a 3-0 Bison win. The Pandas will aim to be back on form after their first loss in six matches in a two-game series with the Regina Cougars at the Saville Centre this weekend.
Golden Bears Basketball
The Bears basketball team split their two games against the Manitoba Bisons last weekend, dropping their match on Friday 75-69, then coming back on Saturday with a 90-73 win. Second year forward Mamadou Gueye led the way offensively, with 25 points and 14 rebounds, recording double-doubles in both games on the weekend. The Bears now sit 7-6, good for sixth place in the Pioneer Division. The Bears will be back at it next weekend against the Regina Rams, who own a 7-7 record and sit just one win behind the Bears in the standings.
The Pandas had a very successful weekend, winning both of their games against the struggling Manitoba Bisons. The Pandas dominated both Friday and Saturday night, winning by scores of 75-53 and 80-56 respectively. Forward Saskia Van ginhoven led the Pandas in scoring both nights, with 16 points on Friday and 17 on Saturday. The Pandas’ back-to-back wins, coupled with the Regina Cougars’ two losses over the weekend, helped vault the Pandas over the Cougars for top spot in the Pioneer Division. This momentum is certainly welcome, as the Pandas and Cougars will face each other this upcoming weekend in what could be a Canada West championship preview.