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Wesmen fall in three to top-ranked Thunderbirds

Emma Parker swings against the UBC block in a loss to the Thunderbirds Saturday night at Duckworth Centre. (David Larkins/Wesmen Athletics)
Emma Parker swings against the UBC block in a loss to the Thunderbirds Saturday night at Duckworth Centre. (David Larkins/Wesmen Athletics)

BY DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics

Another day, another lesson for the youthful Winnipeg Wesmen women's volleyball team.

Kiera Van Ryk had a match-high 13 kills and the No. 1-ranked UBC Thunderbirds finished a sweep of the Wesmen with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-21) victory Saturday night at Duckworth Centre.

The win was UBC's eighth straight and sent Winnipeg's record to 1-15 on the season.

The youngest team in Canada West once again hung with the imposing opponent at times, but couldn't find a way to maintain consistency and ultimately prevail in a set.

Ashleigh Laube had six kills and six digs to lead the Wesmen, who took an 18-17 lead in the third set only to have UBC win four of the next five points to take a 22-19 lead.  

VIDEO: Kalena Schulz talks about her team's growth

"It's amazing to see our progress from our first game to our last game," said Wesmen left side Kalena Schulz, who had five kills and hit .200 for the match. "I think that's been a really motivating thing to know that we're competing with these teams and we're so young. It's just hope for future years and future games."

Winnipeg hit .119 for the match, snapping a five-match stretch where the Wesmen attacked below their season average of .095.

"It's just the strength that they have," Schulz said. "They're an older team, we're a younger team. We're still learning to deal with out-of-system plays, hitting it harder. Obviously you can tell from the game they hit harder than us. We've got to learn to dig those balls. We just need to learn … to hit as hard as we can."

UBC (14-2) hit .281 on the match.

Olivia Furlan added eight kills, nine assists, four digs and two aces for the Thunderbirds, and Victoria Behie notched seven kills and six digs.