Kayla Kievits, Cougars Athletics
CALGARY – The Cougars hold on to their chance in the playoffs. Needing only one more win to secure another match, the Cougars take down their hometown rivals the University of Calgary Dinos in four close sets. The final scores were, 25-15, 19-25, 16-24 and 25-21
The Booster Juice Players of the Game from the Dinos, Derek Meeuwisse and from the Cougars Matt Saly. Dinos Tim Taylor led his team in attacks with a total of 15 kills. The team also racked up seven team blocks and a serve percentage of 0.814. Cougars top attacker was Trent Mounter with 16 kills. The team had ten total blocks and a serve percentage of 0.830.
After a tough loss to the Spartans last week, the Cougars came onto Kenyon Court with a whole new energy. The first set quickly fell in their favour, and the Dinos called a timeout down 4-8. Strong serving and hard attacks allowed the Cougars to quickly extend their lead 13-5. Feeling the pressure the Dinos used their second timeout. The Cougars had found their rhythm and they stuck to it. At the technical timeout the Cougars had doubled the Dinos score 16-8. The Cougars stayed consistent on all aspects of the game, continuing to keep them in the lead. The Dinos hustled but it wasn't enough to catch the Cougars. A block from Cougars Scott Gieske ended the set 25-15.
The second set started with long rallies as both teams refused to give up on the ball. The points started to fall in the Dinos favour and they took the first lead of the game 7-4. The Dinos capitalized on their lead, finding the holes in Cougars defense. Down 8-12 the Cougars called a timeout. The Dinos remained ahead and were the first to reach 16. The technical timeout commenced with a score of 16-13. Struggling to catch a break on defense the Cougars saw the set slipping away. Down by six-points the Cougars used their second timeout 14-20. When Cougars Trent Mounter went on a serving streak bringing the score to 18-23 the Dinos used their first timeout. The timeout proved to be successful as Mounter missed his next serve. The Dinos ended the set with an outside attack with a final score of 25-19.
The third set started point-for-point between the two teams. With a tight score every point was crucial. The Cougars seized every opportunity refusing to let the ball hit the ground they gained the leg up. The Dinos called their first timeout down 9-12. The game continued to go back and forth, but the Cougars remained ahead by two, 16-14 at the technical timeout. Both teams utilized their timeouts in order to regain composure. The Cougars called their first when their lead had depleted, and they found themselves behind 17-18. After continuing to fight point-for-point it was the Cougars who came out on top 26-24 giving them a one set advantage going into the fourth.
With the taste of victory in reach, the Cougars started the fourth set with an early lead 7-2. Able to stay ahead the Cougars forced an early timeout for the Dinos down 5-10. The Cougars were steady and consistent. This led them into the technical timeout up 16-12. The Cougars were successful in switching up their points of attack, which kept the Dinos on their toes. The Cougars used their first timeout when the Dinos began to close in on their lead, but still ahead 19-17. The Cougars continued to keep their offence unpredictable, which lead them to a win 25-21.
Cougars Booster Juice Player of the Game Matt Saly said, "Tonight we did really well because we got better and better as the games went on. Tomorrow we need to focus on maintaining that momentum right out of the gates."
The two teams will meet again tomorrow night, Feb 9, 2019 at 7 p.m. The Cougars are hopeful that with the support of their fans playing at home they will have similar results in tomorrows match.