Weekend Rundown: Thunderbirds sweep the weekend at home

Welcome back to Weekend Rundown, your place to stay up to date with all of the different Thunderbirds teams!

The most T-Birds home games are in term 2 and the tickets are free. You can access the tickets here.

Men’s volleyball start off the second half of the season with a weekend sweep over the Wolfpack

The return to War Memorial Gymnasium was not only an exciting night for the fans, but also the players were eager to return to the court to start the second half of their season. With the hope to improve their 3-3 record in the Canada West standings, the T-Birds were ready to put on a show for the home crowd.

The weekend came with some unexpected challenges for the T-Birds as they had to make several last-minute line-up adjustments. The players all stepped up and filled in for the roles necessary, including Matt Neaves who put on a stellar performance leading the team with 17 kills on Friday night.

Beginning the weekend with a close game, the T-Birds were able to secure the win over Thompson River University (TRU) after the game headed into the tie-breaking fifth set 3–2.

The TRU Wolfpack opened the first set by taking a 3-0 lead and kept this going into the technical timeout 16-13. UBC fought back, keeping the game within a one-point pace, but a serving error allowed for the Wolfpack to reach the set point first. The T-Birds were able to tie the set but fell short with Sam Elgert helping TRU close off the set 27–25.

The Wolfpack came out strong in the second set, but Cole Brandsma took matters into his own hands adding onto his kill record for the night, helping the T-Birds get back into the race and eventually taking the set 29–27.

Keeping this momentum going in the third set, the T-Birds took a big lead placing TRU into a 9-point deficit. This allowed for UBC to take the set 25–13.

The TRU was able to reset and kept the fourth set close with a consistent tie until they were able to take a 3-point lead that essentially helped them take the set over the T-Birds.

As the game went into the fifth set, the crowd did not disappoint, sticking around until the end to help cheer on the T-Birds through a difficult match up. They watched as the teams matched points but, as they switched sides, UBC was up 8–7. Michael Dowhaniuk helped UBC take a 13–10 lead with a massive kill and Brandsma was able to secure the win for them 15–13 with his fifteenth kill of the night.

After a late-night on Friday, the T-Birds came to the court re-energized Saturday afternoon.

The fans filled the bleachers for a second day in a row hoping to cheer their team to another victory. This energy helped the T-Birds secure their second victory of the weekend with a 3-set sweep over TRU 3–0 (33–31, 25–18, 25–18).

The weekend was full of amazing performances from the entire roster and many achieving career highs in various areas.

The T-Birds will be back on their home court on January 28 to play against the division leading the Trinity Western University Spartans hoping for a different outcome from their last match-up.

['auto'] Isabella Falsetti

Women’s volleyball won their first weekend sweep of the season at home against the Wolfpack

On Friday, UBC triumphed against the TRU Wolfpack at 3–1 (25–12, 25–18, 21–25 and 25–17). The T-Birds were able to get a head start through a six streak service ace from second-year setter, Gisela Goodger, forcing a time-out from TRU at 6–0 and another at 14–3.

The T-Birds also displayed impeccable strategy and play, led by attacks from starters Claire Cosarini, Trinity Solecki, Brynn Pasin, Erika Vermette and Jayde Robertsen. It’s clear from this game that the T-Birds volleyball roster is supported by a group of power hitters — Solecki leading with nine kills and two aces in the Friday game alone.

By the second and third sets, the Wolfpack was able to recover from UBC in a series of long rallies and double substitutions. By the third set, the T-Birds fell short of four points to TRU (21–25), led by Erin Mutch and Brooklyn Olfert’s attacks and a coordinated team effort.

However, the T-Birds would not go down without a fight in the fourth set. The fourth set kicked off with a kill by Vermette, assisted by Goodger. Although the two teams went neck-and-neck, trading points in every play, the Wolfpack could not measure up to the surging T-Birds, finishing the game with 25–17.

Saturday’s game yielded tighter sets compared to Friday’s game between TRU and UBC, and it was clear with this rematch that the T-Birds and the Wolfpack were matched in skill and talent. Despite the close game, UBC won Saturday’s game in a straight sweep of 3–0 (25–21, 25–16, 25–19). Pasin led Saturday’s game at seven kills, while Solecki held six kills and three aces.

Saturday’s game also showed off more of UBC’s defensive skills, with Kacey Jost leading at 11 digs, Pasin at 7 and Vermette with 5. More players were given the opportunity to play as well, with more substitutions than last Friday’s game.

The T-Birds will return to War Memorial Gym, competing against the Trinity Western Spartans on January 28 and 29.

['auto'] Isabella Falsetti