DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics
On a short week after a subpar setback, the Winnipeg Wesmen got back to business and once again took down their closest rivals.
The Wesmen men's volleyball team hit .517 in the second set, had multiple impactful runs in the first and third sets and ultimately came away with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 28-26) win over the Manitoba Bisons Thursday night at the Duckworth Centre.
The win was Winnipeg's sixth straight against their crosstown rivals and helped the Wesmen rebound from a five-set loss last Saturday against the Brandon Bobcats.
Daniel Thiessen led all attackers with 16 kills, while adding nine digs and two block assists. Thiessen's biggest block of the night — literally and in the box score — was a roof on Bisons' left side Ben Carleton at 24-24 in the third set.
The Wesmen held Manitoba to .067 hitting on the night, including -.024 in the third when Manitoba committed 12 attack errors. Winnipeg hit .228 for the match.
Nigel Nielsen added 14 kills and hit .286 on the night.
The Wesmen were able to find timely runs in each set. Leading by as many as five midway through the first, the Wesmen watched the Bisons take a 17-12 deficit and pull to 21-20. Winnipeg, however, scored four of the next five to win the set.
Then, trailing 10-6 in the third, Winnipeg rolled off three straight and seven of the next nine to take a one-point lead. Later, the Bisons got a kill from Owen Schwartz to go up 24-22 but a Thiessen in-system kill got the Wesmen back to within one and on the next rally got critical digs from Dornez and Paxton Koop to keep the rally alive before Nielsen put it away to tie the set at 24.
At 26-26, the Wesmen got a Thiessen kill and a Carleton error to end the match.
Manitoba (0-1) was led by the 10 kills from Carleton, who hit -.097 with 13 errors. Kyle Martens had a team-high nine digs.
The two teams meet again Saturday at 2:45 p.m. at U of M.