Varsity sports roundup: volley Bears and Pandas remain perfect

Bears Volleyball

The Golden Bears Volleyball team was in Calgary last weekend for a Halloween showdown with the Mount Royal University Cougars. Coming off a bye in the second week, the Bears were looking to stay undefeated in Canada West play.

Friday’s match saw the Bears assert their dominance early and often against the Cougars. Seven aces from the serve line, as well as 8.5 team blocks, led to the Bears steamrolling MRU in straight sets (25-17,25-23,25-20). Canada West leading scorer Ryan Nickifor led the Bears with a 20.0 point performance, and strong play from outside Alex McMullin (12 points) and setter Brett Walsh (37 assists) ensured a win.

On Saturday, the Volley Bears continued to roll, plowing through the CIS #6 Cougars for another dominant 3-0 win (25-22, 25-20, 25-18). Led once again by Nickifor’s 16 point night, the Bears had a torrid .333 team kill percentage, more than tripling MRU’s .109. Nickifor’s great performance was backed up by Left Side Ryley Barnes and Middle Taylor Arnett, with 11 and eight kills respectively.

Looking to maintain their undefeated Canada West season, the Bears will be back home this Friday at 7:30pm and Saturday at 5:00pm to host the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. — Mitch Sorensen 

Pandas Volleyball

A banged-up Pandas squad was coming off a much-needed bye week when they went to Calgary to face off against the Mount Royal Cougars last weekend.

After sitting out the opening weekend of the Canada West Season due to injury, outside hitter Meg Casault was back with a vengeance on Friday. Spinning 13 kills to go along with two aces, Casault led the Pandas to a 3-0 shutout of the home team Cougars (25-23, 25-14, 25-17). With outside Kacey Otto chipping in 11 points of her own, the Pandas’ kill percentages of .314 simply overpowered the .052-hitting Cougars.

Saturday’s match was much more tightly contested, with momentum swings galore and several different iterations of the Cougar lineup to puzzle the Pandas. Despite all the adversity, the Pandas battled hard for a 3-1 victory (25-19, 26-24, 22-25, 25-16). Led again by a monster night from Casault, her 24 points were complimented by identical 15-point contributions from Otto and Karly Janssen.

The Pandas will face the Saskatchewan Huskies on Friday at 6:00 p.m. and Saturday at 6:30 p.m., and will be looking to maintain this weekend’s momentum, as well as their perfect season. — Mitch Sorensen 

Pandas Hockey

Pandas hockey continued their up and down season on the weekend, splitting their two games against the Saskatchewan Huskies.

The game on Friday was hotly contested, and the Pandas found themselves down after the first period despite only allowing four shots. The Pandas were able to tie the game in the second period with a goal from rookie Cayle Dillion, but the Huskies responded with a goal of their own and held a 2-1 lead heading into the third period, despite being outshot 15-8. The Pandas equalized at the 12-minute mark of the third to push the game into overtime. Neither team could break through in the two overtime periods however, and the game was decided in a shootout, with the Huskies scoring the lone goal to win the game 3-2. Despite outshooting the Huskies 30-11, the Pandas couldn’t come out with a victory.

Saturday night was a different story, with the Pandas being rewarded for their dominance with a 5-1 win. The home team actually found themselves down 1-0 halfway through the first period, but scored three goals in the last three minutes. They wouldn’t look back from there, winning the game 5-1. Alex Poznikoff scored two goals in the win, her sixth and seventh of the season.

The Pandas have a bye week next week, with no conference games, but they will be hosting the Japanese National Women’s Hockey team later this week at Clare Drake arena. Game times are set for 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, Saturday at 2:00 p.m., and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. — Zach Borutski

Bears Hockey

Like the Pandas, the Bears also split their games this past weekend against the Huskies, losing 3-2 on Friday night, and winning 4-2 on Saturday night.

The Bears went into the third period on Friday night holding on to a 2-1 lead, but allowed two third period goals, both scored by first year forward Logan McVeigh, to give the Huskies the win. The Bears dominated in the shot department, outshooting the Huskies 46-25, but with the game on the line, the Huskies managed to outshoot the Bears 10-8 in the third period to steal a win. Jordan Hickmott and Dylan Bredo scored for the Bears in the loss.

On Saturday night, the Bears came out firing, outshooting the Huskies 20-4 in the first period, and 20-4 in the third period, en route to a 4-2 win. the Bears broke the game open in the second period, scoring two goals in two minutes in the middle of the second period, to take a 4-1 lead. The final score would end up being 4-2 in the Bears favour, and it was the the Huskies’ first loss of the season. The Bears return to the friendly confines of Clare Drake Arena to face the Manitoba Bisons this weekend. — Zach Borutski

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