EDMONTON – Third-year outside hitter Julia Zonneveld put in an impressive performance to propel the No.7 University of Alberta Pandas to a straight-sets win (25-11, 25-19, 25-23), as well as a weekend sweep, over the University of Manitoba Bisons, Saturday night at Saville Community Sports Centre.
The Calgary, Alta. native notched team-highs in kills (13), digs (12), and points (14.0) while fourth-year outside hitter Kory White and fourth-year middle Vanessa Jarman added seven kills apiece, White also putting up a half-dozen aces. Third-year setter Elyse Hart recorded 31 assists.
Rookie middle Light Uchechukwu netted a team-high 10 kills for Manitoba, senior setter Sydney Booker adding 29 assists.
The Pandas improve to 12-6 on the season to hold on to fifth place in the Canada West standings while the Bisons fall to 2-18.
Zonneveld got started on the offence early in the match, recording all three kills in an early 12-1 run for the home team, also adding the last two in the set before Booker made a set error to give Alberta the 1-0 set lead.
The Engineering student added another kill in an early 4-1 run for Manitoba that opened the second set before the Pandas replied with a big 12-3 run where Zonneveld notched two more kills and an ace.
A short 5-1 sequence by the Bisons cut their six-point deficit in half, but the 6’2” outside hitter netted a couple more kills to sway the momentum back to the hosts, senior middle Sydney Warchola finishing off the set with her fifth and final kill of the match, Manitoba misplaying the attack and unable to recover.
The Bisons jumped out to a 10-5 lead in the last set, hoping to extend the match to four sets as they did on Friday night, but even though the 10th point came courtesy of a Zonneveld reception error on a Manitoba ace, Alberta’s second-ranked active kills leader changed the momentum again, earning two of the next three points for the Pandas.
The home team continued to chip away at the Bison lead before White came up big from the service line with five aces in a seven-point run that got Alberta ahead.
Five consecutive points by the visitors reclaimed the lead for Manitoba, but attack errors and a Vanessa Jarman kill got the Pandas ahead once more, Zonneveld putting the Pandas’ penultimate point off the Bison back row before her last attack attempt got a partial recovery from rookie libero Julia Arnold, only to have Uchechukwu misfire on an attack to end the match.
Alberta hosts the Calgary Dinos next weekend while Manitoba takes a week off before heading to Brandon, Manitoba to face off against the Bobcats.