CALGARY – The Mount Royal Cougars men's volleyball team got the monkey off their back with a solid 3-0 (25-15, 27-25, 25-23) win over the Regina Cougars on Kenyon Court.
Outside hitter Tyler Schmidt scored a game-high 11 kills in the match, adding five digs and three aces for Mount Royal. Lachie Pollock followed that up with ten kills of his own. Setter Tanner Greves recorded a game-high 30 sets and seven digs in the Cougars' win.
For Regina, Brennan Goski had 11 kills in the game to match Schmidt's numbers. Setter Jake Fleming added 25 assists and a team-high five digs in the contest. Three Cougars recorded five kills including Dalton Wolfe, Matt Aubrey and Cody Caldwell.
MRU head coach Shawn Sky was pleased with the result on the second day of competition with Regina, but knows the team needs to keep improving with each match they play.
"We got a great result today and that's definitely a positive. It's nice to get the monkey off our backs, but at the same time we have a ways to go."
"We came out with intent and I think the difference between yesterday and today was that we served with purpose. When you serve with purpose, it gives your defense a huge advantage and we need to continue to implement that."
In the first set, the hometown Cougars came out with that purpose Sky spoke of, firing on all cylinders. Up nine points at the technical timeout, MRU was relentless on offence with a number of hitters taking on the load including Schmidt, Pollock and Scott Gieske. The set ended in MRU's favour by a score of 25-15 with their offence working together smoothly to complete points and minimize mistakes.
The visiting Cougars put up a fight in the second, but MRU was able to hold down a two point lead throughout the first half of the set. It wasn't until the technical timeout that Regina closed the gap and took their first lead of the set at 16-15. With rallies not going their way by 20-18, MRU was forced to call a timeout. Tying the set up at 23 all, both teams traded points until a big kill from Schmidt and an attacking error from the visiting Cougars sealed their fate at 27-25 for MRU.
Up 13-10 in the third set, MRU found themselves battling it out with Regina at the technical timeout, down one point thanks to some tough floaters from Michael Corrigan. Tied from 17 all to 20 all, a huge triple block from the home team gave MRU a two point lead. From there, the hosting Cougars finished up the set, and the match, at 25-23.
Mount Royal heads out on a two-weekend road trip, beginning with a big matchup against the Trinity Western Spartans. For Regina, they'll host the Brandon Bobcats, Nov. 17-18.