BRANDON, Man. – For the second-straight Friday night, the MacEwan Griffins men's volleyball team pushed its opponent to five sets.
Unfortunately, just like last Friday when they lost 3-2 to Calgary, they experienced another close defeat, falling 3-2 to Brandon (25-21, 21-25, 25-23, 19-25, 15-9).
"We're doing almost everything necessary to win," said MacEwan head coach Brad Poplawski. "Put your thumb and four fingers as close as you can and that's how close we are. The guys are pretty much doing almost everything they can to get a result.
"Other teams are finding a way in those fifth sets or key moments, and we just haven't gotten over that hump."
Not nearly as close as last Friday when the Griffins blew a 14-10 lead in the fifth set against the Dinos to fall 16-14, MacEwan was only really in the fifth set until the halfway mark.
"We were up 7-6 and then they went on a bit of a run to put it out of reach," said Poplawski. "We just got stuck in a rotation and couldn't side out unfortunately."
With Paycen Warkentin at the service line, the Bobcats went on a 5-1 run mid-set and closed it out on a kill from Philipp Lauter.
With the result, the Bobcats improve to 3-6 on the season, while the Griffins fall to 0-9, that elusive first win proving just out of their grasp so far.
Jefferson Morrow led the Griffins with 20 kills and five blocks, accounting for 25.0 points, tied for the eight-most in a match in the program's Canada West history.
"He put up some good numbers for us," said Poplawski. "It started with our passing led by Dan Hebert. That was our best passing performance of the year, bar none. It was really nice to see.
"We chatted earlier this week about how we passed well last weekend and we wanted to build on that in training and bring it into a weekend," he added. "Tonight, it was a really good job by the guys and that gives us a chance to run our offence and have some success offensively, so that was good."
Alexander Lyndon recorded 47 assists, a career-high for him as a Griffin.
"He was running a good offence, got our hitters in some good situations," said Poplawski. "In that fifth set, we just got stuck in a rotation and their block did a good job versus us. We just couldn't find a way to get out of that rotation quick enough."
The Griffins will regroup and continue to quest after their first win in Saturday's rematch (5:45 p.m., Canada West TV).