Cougars sweep weekend set against Bisons

Cougars sweep weekend set against Bisons

Brendan Stasiewich, Mount Royal Cougars Sports Information

CALGARY- The Mount Royal Cougars continued their strong play during their home opening weekend, defeating the Manitoba Bisons for a second straight night at Kenyon Court, by a score of 3-2 (23-25, 25-16, 25-15, 15-25, 15-11). 

Alex Donaghy had a strong performance, leading the Cougars with 19 kills. Meanwhile Kearley Abott led the Bisons with 13 kills in a losing effort.  

Looking to avenge the previous nights loss, the Bisons came out firing. Taking advantage of a few sloppy Cougars' passes early on, Manitoba mounted a 8-3 lead. While Maintoba maintained the lead for most of the set, a few key kills in big moments by Alex Donaghy got the Cougars within two points. A few moments later, Donaghy's fifth kill of the set tied the set at 22.  After a few back and fourth points went the Bisons way, a spike attempt on set point went off the side of Taylor Pelland's hand, giving the Bisons a 25-23 first set win. 

Mirroring the second set from last night, Mount Royal looked like a different team, dominating play. After maintaining a small lead for the first half of the set, the Cougars began pulling away. Pelland, one of the standout players on the floor during the game, made back-to-back kills to take a 16-12 lead.  Donaghy followed suit with back-to-back service aces, the second one being a beautiful knuckleball-looking floater, which increased the Cougars' lead to six.  After increasing their lead further, the Cougars took the second set 25-16. 

The Cougars continued their strong play into the third set. Midway through the set Donaghy hit her team-leading sixth service ace, taking a 16-9 lead and forcing the Bisons to take a timeout. The Bisons were unable to find an answer coming out of the timeout, and dropped the second set 25-15 after yet another Donaghy kill sealed the deal. 

The Bisons picked up their game in the fourth set, winning a few long rallies on their way to a 16-8 lead.  Making few unforced errors, the Bisons gave strong hitters Kearley Abott and Tori Studler plenty of opportunities to extend the Bisons' lead, which they often converted.  With the score 24-15 Robyn Potolicki missed her serve into the net, giving the Bisons a 25-15 set win. 

With the score 2-2 in the final set, Kylie Willis played a few strong points, converting a big kill followed by a dig that would lead to a Donaghy spike.  Pelland made two straight kills before the teams switched sides with the score 8-4 for Mount Royal. With the Cougars leading 14-11, Carolina Alongi converted her ninth kill of the game, giving the Cougars the win.

The Cougars' (2-0) momentum will be slightly interrupted because of a bye next weekend, followed by a game against Thompson Rivers University on November 11. The Bisons (0-2) will be back in action next weekend, playing host to the Regina Cougars on November 4.