EDMONTON – The Alberta Pandas completed the weekend sweep of the UBC Thunderbirds with a straight sets win Saturday night (25-15, 25-21, 25-20) at the Saville Community Sports Centre.
Fourth-year outside hitter Kory White netted a match-high 20 kills to improve her conference-leading season total to 234 as the Pandas (7-5) leapfrog the T-Birds (6-6) in the Canada West standings heading into the December break.
Third-year outside hitter Julia Zonneveld added 11 kills while third-year setter Elyse Hart recorded a match-high 36 assists. Third-year T-Bird middle Gabrielle Attieh and sophomore outside hitter Brynn Pasin tallied 11 kills apiece while sophomore setter Kayla Oxland put up 29 assists.
Down 2-0 to open the first set, Alberta then scored six consecutive points, propelled by two Vanessa Jarman aces, and never relinquished their lead.
A late 5-1 run put Alberta up by nine, inevitably leading to a set win when Attieh put her UBC attack attempt into the net.
Two late Jarman kills in the second got Alberta to set point before White scored her 12th off the block and out the opposite side for a 2-0 lead for the Pandas.
The defending champion Thunderbirds didn’t give up in the final frame, however, starting with a 7-2 lead in the third set, paced by three kills and an ace by Pasin. Yet some timely team blocking and more kills courtesy of White brought the home team level with UBC at 12-12.
Soon after, a 7-0 run by the Pandas put them up 21-15 on the scoreboard, and perhaps unsurprisingly, White finished off the match when her attack off the block found open court in the middle of UBC attackers.
The ‘Birds have an extra-long holiday break from Canada West action with a bye week to begin January before travelling back to Edmonton to face the MacEwan Griffins January 10th and 11th.