Brendan Stasiewich, Mount Royal Sports Information
CALGARY- The Mount Royal Cougars defeated the UBC Okanagan Heat for the second straight night on Saturday on Kenyon Court, this time in straight sets (25-21, 25-20, 25-19).
Amid a solid all-around team performance, Matthew Sally, Riley Friesen and Tyler Schmidt stood out for the Cougars, with Schmidt leading the team with 10 kills. Meanwhile Lars Bornemann led the Heat with 11 kills in a losing effort.
The Heat came out with a lot of energy in the first half of the opening set, overpowering Mount Royal on their way to a 11-8 lead. With the score 15-12, Mount Royal's Tyler Schmidt met a Heat player above the net where they battled for a ball. Schmidt got the upper hand and pushed the ball down the line, pulling the Cougars within two.
That point would be a turning point in the match as the Cougars rallied from there, winning seven of the next nine points to take a 20-17 lead. Up 24-21 Riley Friesen sent down his third kill of the game, giving the Cougars a 25-21 first set win.
The Cougars carried their momentum into the second, flying out to a 14-9 lead. The Cougars won a huge point late in the set when Friesen had to make a leaping dive to dig a ball. Friesen batted the ball over to his teammate Saly who would set up Samuel Brisbane for a huge kill. Just a few points later the Cougars would take the second set 25-20.
Mount Royal didn't let up in the third set, taking an early 7-3 lead due in large part to Riley Friesen's continued excellent play. The Heat managed to pull within one late in the game, down 20-19, converting a few key blocks against the potent Cougar offense.
The Cougars weren't going down easily, after a Friesen ace Josh Kirkham rose above the net for a great block, giving the Cougars a match point. The Cougars would convert; winning the last five points of the set for a 25-19 win.
The win improves the Cougars to 4-2 on the year while the loss drops the Heat to 1-5.
The Cougars will look to carry their momentum into next weekends home and home against the University of Calgary Dinos. Meanwhile the Heat will look to get back on track as they head east to Saskatchewan for a couple games against the Regina Cougars.