The cross-town rivalry between the University of Manitoba and University of Winnipeg is a healthy one.
For years, the two schools have competed feverishly in both academics and sport. But tonight, the latter will prevail as the 22nd annual Duckworth Challenge begins.
The two-day tournament will see eight teams compete in total, with both the men’s and women’s volleyball teams going at it beginning tonight on U of M’s home turf.
“It’s important on so many levels this time around,” said Bison men’s volleyball coach Garth Pischke. “It’s a great match because it’s fun for the players to really, really get into it. They’re playing against guys… some of them they grew up with and played high school and club (volleyball) together. It’s a real competitive match, and obviously they want to spend the rest of this Christmas season with a smile on their face. It’s a self-motivator.”
The Bisons and Wesmen will face off beginning at 6 p.m. (women) and 8 p.m. (men) at Investors Group Athletic Centre on the U of M’s Fort Garry campus.
On Wednesday, the basketball teams will meet at the U of W’s Duckworth Centre downtown. Tip-off is 6 p.m. (women) and 8 p.m. (men).
“Both programs have probably had their ups and downs at times, and it’s great for basketball in the city,” said Bison men’s basketball coach Kirby Schepp earlier today. “I think both are throwing it up right now at least and it just adds more to the game.”
In the 2011-12 season, the Bisons retained the Duckworth Challenge trophy with a 2-2 victory margin and won on the tie-breaker (+5) — the first time the new tie-breaker system came into effect.
Tickets are available at the door.