Manitoba vs Alberta: A Wild West Showdown

By Chloe D-G

Before setting foot in the building at Investors Group Athletic Centre at the University of Manitoba, you could tell by the amount of people filing in that tonight's Men's Volleyball game was going to be one you wouldn't want to miss.

As soon as you entered the court you could see a sea of blue on one side and a sea of yellow on the other. The fans were ready. They all had their choice of noise makers in hand.

Photo: Matt Duboff

Whether a cowbell or air horn it sure was going to be a loud one. These fans were ready for a game full of action and excitement and that's exactly what they got.

Photo: Matt Duboff

Team Alberta opened up the scoring in the first set and the fans went wild. Waving their flags high and proud in the air, cheering at the top of their lungs. But the host province wasn't going to let Alberta get away just like that. Within a matter of seconds Manitoba bounced back equaling the score. But eventually Team Alberta pulled ahead, won the set.

Photo: Steve Carmichael

Team Manitoba came out strong for the second set but eventually, Alberta managed to tie the set and soon after took the lead. The second set had a lot of back and forth, you could tell these were two evenly matched teams. Manitoba came back and pulled ahead but Alberta answered the call with an amazing shot equalling the score once again. #5 on Team Manitoba serves an ace for point 22. With a block at the net Team Manitoba was one point away from putting away the match, but not if Alberta had anything to say about it. Unfortunately for Team Alberta their next serve went long and Manitoba took the set 25-22.

Photo: Matt Duboff

Alberta started the third set off with a BANG giving Manitoba a challenge, but it wasn't anything they couldn't handle. By this time in the game the fans had taken the noise to a whole new level. Nearing the end of the set Alberta had gained a commanding lead over Team Manitoba. Even with Manitoba's best effort Team Alberta won the set by a score of 25-14.

The start of the fourth set was going in favour of the visitors (Team Alberta) and it looked as if they would end up winning the set along with the game. But then all of a sudden, down 7 points Manitoba was making a comeback. They slowly creeped up 19-15, 21-17, 24-21. They came close but Alberta wasn't letting it slip that easily as they won the set with a final score of 25-22.

During the game when speaking with a family from Alberta here supporting their son the first thing they said was how friendly Winnipeg was and how well everyone treated them, their son and his team.

Photo: Chloe D-G

Most of Team Alberta comes out of Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer with the team training out of Edmonton and Calgary. The team also recently participated in a high-performance tournament in Fort Lauderdale where they played against the top teams from around the globe and ended up placing 10th! By the sounds of it Team Alberta is going to be one of those teams to keep an eye on as the games continue.