Tanner Michalenko, Mount Royal Sports Information
CALGARY – The Mount Royal Cougars (9-6) defeated the MacEwan Griffins (3-14) in four sets on Friday night at Kenyon Court (24-26, 25-19, 26-24, 25-16).
Riley Friesen was all over the court for Mount Royal, registering 19 kills and 5 digs. Tyler Schmidt chipped in as well with 13 kills of his own to go along with 17 digs.
The Cougars and Griffins started Friday night's matchup with a few entertaining rallies while staying even through the majority of the first set. Both teams traded points until the Griffins took over and killed back-to-back balls to squeeze a victory in the first set, 26-24.
The back and forth action continued in the second set as neither team could find a way to build a comfortable lead, until the Cougars finally got on a run. Coming out of their timeout, the Cougars took care of business and closed out the set on a dominant 5-0 run. Matt Saly was excellent on serve for the Cougars during the run, and he finished the set off with a nice ace.
The Griffins seemed more motivated to start the third set, building a quick 9-3 lead as Mount Royal looked out of sorts. The Cougars were forced to call a timeout, which proved invaluable as they eventually clawed their way back to 15-15.
The rest of the pivotal third set saw both teams play faster and with more urgency. With the score once again tied at 24, a kill by Mount Royal's Riley Friesen gave the Cougars a service opportunity to steal the set. Mount Royal forced a Griffin attack error after which gave Mount Royal the set and the 2-1 lead in the match.
Mount Royal gradually built their their first sizeable lead of the night in the fourth. After a MacEwan attack error, the 16-10 score set up the Cougars nicely for the rest of the set.
There was no looking back for the Cougars from there on. Mount Royal kept up the momentum and cruised to a victory in the fourth set by a score of 25-16.
Mount Royal snaps their two game losing streak, improving to 9-6, while MacEwan falls to 3-14.
Mount Royal will travel up to Alberta to play the powerhouse Alberta Golden Bears beginning on Friday night. Friday night's contest starts at 6:00pm MST.
The Griffins are off to Regina for a weekend set with the winless Regina Cougars. First serve is slated for 8:00pm CST on Friday night.