The Winnipeg Wesmen women's volleyball team closed out its first live game action opportunity in 19 months with a victory over its crosstown rivals.
The Wesmen finished off the three-day University of Regina Invitational with a 3-1 (15-25, 25-20, 25-19, 26-24) victory over the Manitoba Bisons Sunday afternoon in the Queen City.
The Wesmen ended the pre-season-opening event with a record of 1-2 following losses to Saskatchewan on Friday and Calgary on Saturday.
The tournament was a chance to get game action for a number of players with the Wesmen currently carrying 22 active players on the roster a month away from the start of Canada West conference play.
"It was everything a preseason tournament should be," said Wesmen assistant coach Megan Bradshaw, who served as the head coach for the weekend. "We had a good balance of veteran leadership, mixed with youthful enthusiasm.
Our team was just excited to play in meaningful matches after not wearing a Wesmen uniform for more than 18 months."
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For Bradshaw, a longtime local high school and club coach, it was her first chance to lead a university bench.
The Wesmen last played a match in February 2020 and the Regina tournament was a chance for members of both the 2020 and 2021 recruiting classes to see their first action at the university level. Christine Kolbuck, Taylor McGillivray, Jaya Dzikowicz and Taylor Cangemi — all 2020 recruits — got their first taste of Canada West competition, as did Ashley Semeniuk, a 2021 recruit.
Alexa Wieczorkiewicz, a redshirt freshman who debuted in 2019-20, notched her first career Wesmen start.
"Our confidence and communication skills improved with each match we played," Bradshaw said. "We have a lot to work on before our season opener, but this weekend was a great first step in learning what it takes to compete at a high level in Canada West."
Also new to the Wesmen this season will be former Brandon Bobcat setter Mary Thomson, a Canada West all-star in 2017, who has joined head coach Phil Hudson's staff as an assistant coach.