Cougars keep playoff hopes alive with big win over Griffins

Cougars keep playoff hopes alive with big win over Griffins

Brendan Stasiewich, Mount Royal Sports Information


CALGARY- The Mount Royal Cougars (7-9) took down the MacEwan University Griffins (4-14) for the second straight night, this time in four sets (25-21, 17-25, 25-22, 25-18). 


Kylie Willis and Alex Donaghy led the Cougars with 14 kills while Taylor Pelland and Maddi Quinn also stood out as important components in Mount Royal's victory. Cassidy Kinsella led the Griffins with 14 kills. 


Mount Royal came out of the gate looking strong. However, it looked like the Griffins would pull within one with an easy kill but Amy Gordon reached down and made what looked to be an impossible dig, extending the point. The rally went back and fourth before Kylie Willis would make her first of back-to-back kills, putting the Cougars up 13-9 and forcing a Griffins timeout.


The Cougars continued their strong play out of the timeout as the Griffins wouldn't come within three points of Mount Royal until late in the set. While the Griffins spent the midsection of the set playing sloppy volleyball, the Cougars would follow suit, giving up four straight points late in the game to put MacEwan within two, forcing a Mount Royal timeout.


One of the Cougars' most valuable players in the game, Alex Donaghy, would put the home team back on track with a powerful kill, giving the Cougars a set point which they'd convert due to a McKenna Stevenson attacking error. 


The Griffins found their game early in the second set with a stronger net front presence and began getting their hands on more Cougars' hits. Before Mount Royal knew what hit them the Griffins had taken a commanding 16-9, forcing a Cougars timeout. 


Kate Rozendaal had a spectacular set for the Griffins, leading the offensive attack. Rozendaal's contribution along with teammates Haley Gilfillan and Cassidy Kinsella led to a 25-17 set victory for the visitors. 


MacEwan carried their momentum into the second set, staying ahead of Mount Royal by a four to six point margin until the Cougars clawed back into the set, down just 18-15. 


Mount Royal would complete their comeback a few points later, making the score 20-20, as Chantel Park made her first kill of the game. A few points later a Taylor Pelland kill would give the Cougars a 25-22 third set victory. 


Mount Royal finished the Griffins off easily in the fourth set, playing their best volleyball of the game. With the score 24-18 Kylie Willis smashed down her 14th kill of the match, giving Mount Royal their second win in as many nights.


Mount Royal will travel to Edmonton to play a weekend tilt against Alberta next week while MacEwan will travel to Regina to play the struggling Cougars.