Kayla Kievits, Cougars Athletics
CALGARY – Home court advantage worked in favour of the Cougars on night one of a two-night match up. The Brandon University Bobcats took on the Mount Royal University Cougars on Kenyon Court and it was the Cougars who came out successful winning the match on four sets. The final scores were 25-20, 25-19, 23-25 and 25-18.
The Booster Juice players of the game are Michelle Egger from the Bobcats and Cassidy Kitchen from the Cougars. The Cougars standout players include Chantel Park leading the team with 13 attacks and Nicky Zalasky with a total of seven blocks in the front row. Notable players from the Bobcats include Nikala Majewski leading with 13 attacks followed closely by Michelle Egger totaling 11.
The Brandon Bobcats gained an early lead in the first set consistently blocking the Cougars attempts to attack. Down by three points the Cougars called the first timeout of the game 6-9. Despite an ace from Cougars Chantel Park, the timeout was unsuccessful in helping the Cougars close the gap and the Bobcats remained ahead by three, 16-13 at the technical timeout. A few points later and the Cougars luck changed, an ace from Cassidy Kitchen put the Cougars in the lead the first time in the set, 17-16. Consistent serving allowed the Cougars to keep their lead and the Bobcats used their first timeout down 20-22. When the next two points went to the Cougars the Bobcats called their second timeout hoping to pull themselves back into the game. A missed attack from the Bisons gave the Cougars the win on the first set 25-20.
The Cougars kept their momentum as they started the second set. A serving run from Anna Carlson gave them an early lead. Down by five the Bobcats called the first timeout 2-7. The Cougars felt the pressure after the timeout and the Bobcats quickly made a comeback tying the game at 10. With their game faces back on, the Cougars didn't let the Bobcats score another point before the technical timeout was called with a score of 16-10. The Cougars used their first timeout of the set when they lost their groove leading by only two points 16-14. The Cougars were able to shake it off and Kitchen was ready to play in the front row. A kill and a single block from Kitchen helped the Cougars stay ahead and the Bobcats used their second timeout down 19-22. The Cougars kept possession of the ball with an ace from Quinn Pelland immediately following the timeout. Another ace from Pelland ended the set 25-19 and the Cougars lead two sets to zero.
Similar to the first set the Bobcats were the first to take the lead starting the third. Unsuccessful defense from the Cougars left them down 5-9 and they called their first timeout. With the victory of the match in sight the Cougars came back fighting. An ace from Carly Davies tied the game at 14. Davies serving continued to be an issue for the Bobcats to return and the Cougars took the lead 16-15 at the technical timeout. The Bobcats weren't ready to call it quits and quickly took back their lead. Finding the holes in the Cougars defense they were able to gain a three-point lead 21-18. The set continued to be unpredictable as the Cougars came back and the Bobcats called their second timeout with the set on the line and up by only one, 24-23. The Bobcats clenched the win on their first set of the night on the next point winning 25-23. The Cougars remain up by one set, leading two-one.
As the fourth set was underway for the first time in the match the Cougars gained a huge lead right off the bat 10-4. Merely a few points into the game the Bobcats called their first timeout. The timeout went in their favour as they closed the gap, bringing the Cougars lead down to three-points 11-14. After a long rally where both teams refused to let the ball hit the ground the Cougars remained in the lead entering the technical timeout 16-11. The Cougars were ready to put the game away and picked up their defense. The Bobcats used their second timeout when they fell behind 15-21. With the taste of victory in their mouths, the Bobcats were unable to stop the Cougars and they took the set 25-18 winning the match in four.
The two teams will face off again tomorrow Nov. 10, 2018 at 5 p.m. once again on Kenyon Court. Be sure to check the live stats too see if the Cougars can sweep the weekend or if the Bobcats will make their comeback.