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Bison women battle for gold today

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Taylor Pischke had a big day for the Bisons.

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Taylor Pischke had a big day for the Bisons. Photo Store

REGINA -- Gold is just one good match away.

The University of Manitoba women's volleyball squad will gun for glory today when they face the UBC Thunderbirds in the CIS championship final at the University of Regina.

The Herd pasted the Dalhousie Tigers in straight sets in Saturday's semifinal, 25-22, 25-13, 25-21, while the No. 1 T-Birds downed third-ranked Laval 3-1 (24-26, 25-13, 25-21, 25-18).

The Bisons had some early jitters in the first set, but settled down after trailing 16-15 at the technical timeout, rolling off 10 of the next 16 points for the win. In the second set, the Herd wasted little time, taking control with strong defence and superb play by hitters Taylor Pischke, Rachel Cockrell, Mariel Garcia and Jordana Milne. The Herd led 10-4 early, then 16-7 and never looked back, winning 25-13. The third set was a battle as Dalhousie, the Atlantic University Sport champion, refused to go down quietly. At one point the Tigers trailed by one at 20-19, but Manitoba surged to a 25-21 victory.

"I thought we played real steady and we knew it was going to be a tough match in the semis against Dalhousie," Bison head coach Ken Bentley said after the win. "I was real pleased with our poise and that we executed the game plan. I look forward to the championship final."

The Bisons will play for a CIS championship for the first time since their last CIS appearance in 2010. That year, Manitoba won silver after a 3-1 loss to UBC in the championship final.

Today's final starts at 6 p.m.

 

-- staff

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 2, 2014 B6

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