Kayla Kievits, Cougars Athletics
CALGARY – The Cougars end their season on a high note with a huge win against their hometown rivals University of Calgary Dinos. After a sweep from the Dinos the previous night, the Cougars came out anxious to impress their fans. Making every moment of their last time on the court this year count the Cougars take the Dinos in five sets. The final scores were 25-15, 26-25, 22-25, 18-25 and
The Booster Juice Players of the game from the Dinos, Beth Vinnell and from the Cougars, Nicky Zalasky. The Dinos lead attacker was Kate Pexman with a total of 16 kills. The team racked up a total of nine team blocks and a serve percentage of 0.884. The Cougars top attacker was Cassidy Kitchen with a total of 17 kills. The Cougars racked up a total of 15 team blocks and a serve percentage of 0.924.
The last match of the Cougars season started with a bang. A strong presence at the net and successful blocking tactics led the Cougars to an early lead in the first set. At the technical timeout the Cougars had created a four-point gap for themselves, ahead 16-12. After the technical timeout the Cougars found their offensive rhythm and found themselves quickly racking up points. When the Dinos fell behind by eight-points, 14-22 they called their first timeout hoping to re-strategize. The Dinos were unable to regroup and the Cougars won the set 25-15.
Despite the high of coming off of a win, the Cougars luck started to shift as the second set began. The Cougars used their first timeout early after finding themselves unable to keep the ball in the court. After the timeout the Cougars quickly found themselves back in the game with only a one-point difference in score, 8-9. The momentum of the game shifted between the two teams, but it was the Dinos to reach 16 first. The Dinos pulled ahead significantly with a seven-point lead at the technical timeout, 16-9. After a long well fought rally ended in favour of the Cougars the momentum once again shifted. With confidence behind every swing the Cougars earned point after point creating a closer game. When the Cougars were within three, 14-17 the Dinos called a timeout. Unable to regroup the Dinos quickly found that the Cougars had tied the score at 19. The match continued to go back and forth, unpredictable of who would come out on top. The Dinos used their final timeout with the set on the line and down by one, 23-24. The Cougars took the set 26-24, entering the third with a two set advantage.
The third set started similar to how the second ended, both teams fighting back and forth for each point. The Cougars could feel the support from their fans and used it as momentum to gain a small lead. At the technical timeout the Cougars were up by three, 16-13. The Cougars defense let off after the timeout allowing the Dinos to take the lead 19-17. As the Dinos lead grew, 21-17 the Cougars used a timeout, hoping to regain control of the set. The Dinos kept the pressure on, and also kept their lead. The Cougars were unable to close the gap and the Dinos won the set 25-22 keeping the match alive.
Once again the two teams found themselves fighting to take a lead. The Cougars needed to find the defense that had been present in the first set in order to gain a leg up. Points fell back and forth, but the Dinos were the first to pull away 12-9. The Dinos read the holes in the Cougars defense, which allowed them to stay ahead. The Dinos were up 16-12 at the technical timeout. The Cougars momentum continued to deplete, and the Dinos saw their lead grow, 20-12. The Cougars weren't able to get their defense back on track and the Dinos won the set 25-18 keeping the match alive for yet another set.
The fifth set always seems to go by fast, so an early lead is crucial. The Cougars pulled away 3-0 right off the bat. Their early lead set them up for success and the Cougars continued to dominate up 8-2 switching sides for the second half of the set. Strong offensive attacks from the Cougars had the Dinos use a timeout down 2-10. The Dinos were never able to recover from the small lead the Cougars initially gained and the Cougars ended the set quickly 15-5.
Cougars athlete Carly Davies said, "Our growth overall as a team is what really stands out to me for the season overall. I'm from a small town so it is hard to keep up with volleyball over the summer, but I definitely will try to stay as involved as possible."
The Cougars had an amazing season and are sad to say goodbye to their sr. Nicky Zalasky. A win on home court to end the season couldn't have turned out any better. While we say good-bye to the Cougars women volleyball team for the 2018/2019 season, we can't wait to see what they have in store next year, hopefully coming back bigger and better than ever.