BRANDON, Man. – "Mindset."
Dusty Freimark's answer summed up what the entire MacEwan women's volleyball team has been working towards when asked what the key was in their first win of the Canada West season – a 3-1 triumph over Brandon on Friday night.
"I think the things we've been working on in practice and continually buying into even when it was really hard to … the girls just did a really good job of trusting in that process," said the Griffins interim head coach after her team was able to turn belief into results in a 21-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-19 win over the Bobcats that snaps a season-long eight game losing streak.
Mariah Bereziuk was at her best in leading the Griffins with a career-high 21 kills on a .395 hitting percentage. She finished the game with a thunderous kill from the left side that hit the floor for the match-clinching point.
"Mariah was amazing tonight," said Freimark. "She had 21 kills. Mariah's an incredible athlete. I think she just needed maybe her coaches, maybe her teammates to allow her to do what she does best. I think she just decided to do what she does best."
Andi Krawec added nine kills and 16 digs for the Griffins, who improve to 1-8 on the season, dropping Brandon to 0-9.
W��| FINAL— MacEwan Griffins (@MacEwanGriffins) November 26, 2022
Led by Mariah Bereziuk's 21 kills, @MacEwanU earns its first win of the 2022-23 @CanadaWest season, beating @BUBobcats 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-19). Recap coming soon.#GriffNation pic.twitter.com/404AyfpngK
Understandably, the Griffins were in a jovial mood post-game.
"100 per cent," said Freimark. "We talked about it after the game. A lot of hard work went into one win, so now the goal for us or the next hurdle is 'can we do it again tomorrow?'
"Brandon had the same record as us (prior to the game), so the critics will be 'you just beat Brandon once, can you do it again?' So, we have to fight those demons right now and just keep walking forward."
The teams will meet again on Saturday (4 p.m. MT, Canada West TV), where the Griffins will be looking to string a win streak together.
"One win doesn't erase all the doubt you've built up over the years, so we're going to have to fight that ghost and the girls are going to have to work really hard to prepare the same," said Freimark. "We'll have to have that same mindset. We have to adjust. But the girls just did a really good job of game planning throughout the entire match."