BRANDON, Man. – The Alberta Pandas picked up a 3-0 (25-16, 25-23, 15-15) win Friday night over the Brandon Bobcats to begin 2020 on a high note in a strange affair.
The No. 9 ranked Pandas used a hot start in the first, held off the surging Bobcats in the second, and cruised after a delayed start to the third to improve their record to 8-5 in conference play.
The delay was 32 minutes long and caused by a fire alarm, but didn't seem to slow down the Pandas.
Alberta started the match hitting .393 as a team with no attack errors while Brandon had a combined nine errors in the first. Kory White put up four kills in the first frame.
Brandon took their first lead set at 8-7 of the second. Alberta had eight attack errors and five service errors after a blistering first set, but righted the ship late in the second set to close it out.
The fire alarm went off just prior to the start of the third set, causing the delay. The 339 fans and players from both teams filed out the front doors of the HLC before firefighters cleared the building.
"Oddly enough we've been in that situation before," said Erin Corbett.
The Pandas have endured three fire alarms in games in the past few years, so Corbett said re-grouping wasn't an issue for her squad.
"Just focusing on our side and refocusing after a break like and really working on what we needed to do on our side of the net that to close out the match."
Jamie Bain hit an ace to start the third for the Bobcats, but any momentum was short-lived as Alberta ran to a 9-4 lead, forcing Brandon coach Lee Carter to call a time-out. The Pandas didn't look back from there, handing the Bobcats their first loss of 2020 and a 2-11 record in conference play on the season.
White finished with a match-high 14 kills for the Pandas while Corbett had a match-high 15 digs.
Brandon was led by Nicole Ashauer's 10 kills.
The two teams meet again Saturday night in Brandon. First serve is set for 7 pm CT at the BU Healthy Living Centre.
Photo Credit: Milana Paddock