November 17 to November 23, 2003
Pizza Place Players of the Week
Women’s Basketball JoAnne Wells
The fourth year guard averaged 20.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4 steals in No. 1 Winnipeg’s two-game sweep of Manitoba.
Men’s Basketball Dave Brar
The fourth year wing averaged 14 points and 6.5 rebounds in a two-game series with Manitoba.
The Wesmen solidified their hold on the number one ranking in the country by sweeping the No. 3 ranked Bisons in Canada West Conference play this past week. Fourth year guard JoAnne Wells dominated play again, averaging 20.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4 steals over the two games. Sister Janet was solid as well, averaging 12 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. On Thursday at the Investors Group Athletic Centre, the Wesmen led by 8 at the half and kept the pressure up in the final 20 minutes, resulting in a 69-55 victory. JoAnne and Janet were tops for the Wesmen with 18 points and 16 points respectively. On Saturday night, Winnipeg completed the sweep, this time downing the Bisons by a 69-58 score. JoAnne led Winnipeg again, this time with 23 points, while 3rd year forward Kate Daniels continued to establish herself as a force to be reckoned with by notching 15 points and adding 3 rebounds. Things don’t get any easier for the 4-0 Wesmen as they travel west to Regina to take on the 4-0 and No. 7 ranked Cougars in the Saskatchewan capital in a battle for first place in the Great Plains Division of the Canada West Conference. Regina is coming off of a two-game sweep of the Brandon Bobcats.
Larry McKay has been involved in a few marathon fifth sets in his 15 years as head coach of the University of Winnipeg Wesmen Men's Volleyball team but none like what he experienced on the weekend. In the final 15 point set against the defending NCAA Division One Champion Lewis University Flyers with a backdrop of a jammed to the rafters, rabid crowd the Wesmen couldn't quite top the American squad, losing by an incredible 38-36 score.
“That was the longest fifth set I’ve ever been a part of,” said McKay. “There were too many match points to remember.”
The No. 3 ranked Wesmen played the Flyers at their Romeoville, Illinois campus (just south of Chicago) in two exhibition matches during the Lewis University homecoming weekend. Lewis boasts an international lineup, with players from Brazil, Mexico and Puerto Rico, and is the team to beat again in the NCAA returning all their starters from their 2003 Championship squad. Winnipeg dropped the first match in three straight on Thursday night a contest where McKay made sure all his players saw equal time on the court. First year outside Trevor Shaw had 4 kills to lead the Wesmen in the opening tilt.
The second match the feature of homecoming weekend at Lewis was a different story. The Wesmen rolled out to a two set lead, winning 30-27 and 30-27. But the Flyers bolstered by their boisterous fans rallied and took the next two sets, 30-24 and 30-25. That set the stage for the fifth set showdown one that gave the fans their money’s worth. Winnipeg actually thought they had the fifth set won 30-28 when a kill attempt by a Lewis player appeared to be out to everyone in the gym except the linesman. But a little home cooking didn’t damper McKay’s enthusiasm about taking the NCAA Champs to the limit.
“It was a barnburner,” said an excited McKay. “What a great atmosphere.”
Lewis Coach Dave Deuser echoed McKay sentiments and tipped his hat to the Winnipeg squad.
“This was an incredible match against great competition,” said Deuser. “This is the match I expected last night. From what I’ve seen so far, Winnipeg is the best team in Canada.”
Fifth year outside Stephen Ens led the Wesmen with 22 kills and 2 aces in the second match, while third year outside Dave Bishop notched 22 kills as well, and added 3 aces and 12 digs. Third year middle Jarrod Small continued his fine early season play with a match high 10 blocks and 13 kills.
The Wesmen return to Canada West Conference action this weekend where they take their 3-1 record into two matches against the No. 6 ranked Calgary Dinos at the Duckworth Centre.
The Wesmen went down to defeat twice to the Manitoba Bisons this past week. The two losses drop Winnipeg’s record to 0-4 in Canada West Conference play. On Saturday night at the Duckworth Centre a crowd of 1700 fans watched the Wesmen, bolstered by the return of fourth year post Tony Richter, take a 35-34 lead into the locker room at half time. But Winnipeg had trouble finding the range in the closing minutes of the game and Manitoba picked up its third win of the season by a 67-57 margin. Fourth year wing Dave Brar led the Wesmen with 17 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists and third year forward Michael Gomez added 10 points and 5 rebounds. Thursday night was a forgettable night for Winnipeg as they lost 75-46 at the U of M campus. Second year post Oliver Leslie had 12 points and 7 rebounds in that contest. The Wesmen hit the road this weekend, traveling to Regina to take on the No. 8 ranked Cougars. Regina, 1-3, is coming off two straight losses at the hands of the Brandon Bobcats.
The Wesmen return to action after a weekend off for a crucial two game series with the Simon Fraser Clan at the Duckworth Centre. The ninth ranked Wesmen sit at 2-4 in the Great Plains Division of the Canada West Conference and are looking to get back into the thick of things with a solid performance against the1-5 Clan. Match time on Friday night is 6:00 p.m, but on Saturday the teams lock horns in the afternoon at 1:00 p.m.