The No. 6-seeded Manitoba Bisons earned a hard-fought 3-2 (24-26, 25-20, 16-25, 25-22, 15-10) upset victory over the No. 3 Mount Royal Cougars in quarterfinal action at the 2023 U SPORTS Women’s Volleyball Championship inside War Memorial Gym.
Raya Surinx led the Bisons with 21 kills and eight huge aces in the win, Ella Gray had 14 kills, and Brenna Bedosky added seven kills with two blocks and an ace. Haley Roe posted a match-high 24 kills on .426 hitting and added seven blocks for the Cougars, Nyadholi Thokbuom tallied 15 kills and five blocks, and Quinn Pelland racked up 58 assists, three aces and a block in the loss.
The Cougars took a late 19-14 lead in the first set, but Manitoba fought back and pulled within one on a Surinx ace. With the score even at 24-24, a Bisons service error and a big MRU block lifted the Canada West finalists to a first set victory. Manitoba led 11-6 after an Andi Almonte ace in the second set and maintained their cushion through to a second set win. Mount Royal responded by racing out to an 18-7 advantage and cruising to a comfortable third set victory. The Bisons continued to battle – leading 19-14 in the fourth and holding on to force a fifth and deciding set, before completing the comeback and upsetting the Cougars in a tightly contested fifth frame.
With the win, the Bisons secured the last semifinals berth and will now face the host and No. 7-seeded UBC Thunderbirds Saturday at 8:00 p.m. (Pacific), while Manitoba squares off against the No. 2 Brock Badgers in consolation action at 3:00 p.m. (Pacific) on Saturday.
Mikasa Players of the Game
- Mount Royal: Chloe Shum
- Manitoba: Ella Gray