Wesmen can't keep up with top-ranked T-Birds

Ashleigh Laube had eight kills and tied for a team-high with 10 digs to lead the Wesmen in a straight-sets loss to UBC Friday night. (David Larkins/Wesmen Athletics)
Ashleigh Laube had eight kills and tied for a team-high with 10 digs to lead the Wesmen in a straight-sets loss to UBC Friday night. (David Larkins/Wesmen Athletics)

BY DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics

The Winnipeg Wesmen are still learning some hard lessons on what it takes to hang with the big kids in the Canada West conference.

The U of W women's volleyball team hung in for portions of a 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-17) defeat to the No. 1-ranked UBC Thunderbirds on Friday, but in the end were left lamenting the hiccups that have plagued this young squad through most of the season.

Left side Kiera Van Ryk had a match-high 10 kills and the Thunderbirds ran their win streak to seven matches and improved to 13-2 on the season. Winnipeg fell to 1-14.

"We're learning that all the time and we're getting better all the time," Wesmen head coach Diane Scott said about her team trying to find a way to finish strong. "The giant is big across the net, but they're beatable. I thought initially we were trying to run our game plan and we just missed a few early and that might have gotten in our heads a little bit."

VIDEO: Diane Scott on her team's efforts against a top-ranked squad

Ashleigh Laube had eight kills to lead the Wesmen, who also got seven kills on 14 swings from middle blocker Jessica Friesen. Laube tied with left side Emma Parker with a team-high 10 digs.

The Wesmen had the T-Birds at 9-9 in the first set, but watched as UBC won six of the next seven points.

"(Setter) Rylie (Dickson) was setting the zones we wanted to set and our players were getting opportunities to swing away in the right zones," Scott said. "We just missed a few. Our biggest issue early in the match was our passing wasn't to the net and we need to have all players engaged because we are young and we're a little lean in the experience department."

Winnipeg hit .046 for the match, while UBC was .155.

The two teams meet again Saturday (5 p.m. CT).