-With files from Bisons Athletics
WINNIPEG – On the plus side, the Griffins men's volleyball team is consistently in close sets that could go either way.
More often than not, they're just not going their way.
It happened again on Saturday night as the Manitoba Bisons emerged with a 3-1 win over MacEwan (23-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-22) to complete a weekend sweep.
"We keep giving ourselves these opportunities in tight sets," said Griffins head coach Brad Poplawski. "I know everyone's frustrated being on the wrong end of it, but I think it's important for us to play these tight matches."
A close set actually went MacEwan's way in the opener on Saturday as the Griffins rallied from 23-22 down to take a 24-23 lead and won it when Matthew Campbell's attack went into the net.
The moxy was short-lived, unfortunately, as MacEwan seemed in position to win Set 2 with multiple leads in it, but the squads entered the clutch points tied 20-20. A missed attack by Jefferson Morrow led to the decisive point in favour of the Bisons.
After Manitoba cruised to victory in Set 3 and were up 17-11 in Set 4, it seemed like the Griffins' fate was sealed. But then an impressive thing happened as Poplawski's troops fought back to trail only 23-22.
"We made a great touch on a block and just couldn't convert on it," said the coach. "The fact they didn't pack it in when we were down and kept working and grinding, I thought was a good response by us."
With the result, Manitoba improves to 6-8, dropping MacEwan to 0-14. The Griffins are much better than their record indicates, pushing teams most every week, but they're just not getting the W's.
"We're doing the right things most of the time," said Poplawski. "We just need to be a little more consistent. I do think there's value in playing a lot of these (close) games. We just have to keep trying to find a way to have the result go the other way."
Morrow led the Griffins with 12 kills and 10 digs, while Alexei Walisser also had 12 kills, Carsten Bergeron had seven kills on a team-leading .462 hitting percentage and Alexander Lyndon recorded 30 assists.
MacEwan returns home to host UFV on Jan. 13-14.