Kayla Kievits, Cougars Athletics
CALGARY – It's a blowout for the Mount Royal Cougars as they defeat the Brandon Bobcats in three sets. The teams both fought hard for a nail-biting match, but ultimately the Cougars couldn't be stopped. The final scores of the night were, 25-23, 25-22 and 25-20.
The Booster Juice Player of the Game from the Bobcats was Seth Friesen, and from the Cougars Tyler Schmidt. Notable players from the Bobcats were, James Weir and Elliot Viles each racking up a total of six attacks. Friesen led the team with a total of 10. From the Cougars, Schmidt had a total of 21 kills, followed by Trent Mounter scoring 11.
As the men start the first set it looks as though it will be an evenly matched game. The teams start the game going point-for-point, back and forth the Cougars and the Bobcats both showed consistent attacks and reactive defense. The Bobcats were the first to 16 at the technical timeout, and for the first time in the set had gained more than a one-point lead, 16-14. When Cougars Tyler Schmidt was hot in the front row the Bobcats used their first timeout falling behind 18-20. The Bobcats had a strong defensive presence at the net, but luck was not on their side as multiple blocks landed just outside the court. With the set on the line the Bobcats used their second timeout down 22-24. Ultimately it was Cougars Trent Mounter that ended the set with an outside kill 25-23.
Much like the first the second set opened going point-for-point between the two teams. Being so evenly matched serving is a crucial component that can make or break a team in this situation. The Cougars Mounter helped his team to pull away by two, when he served an ace twice in row. Fortunately for the Cougars this small lead helped them to gain the momentum to stay ahead, and were up by three as the technical timeout was called 16-13. Following the timeout, Cougars Schmidt was serving and able to extend their lead to five points, 17-13. The Bobcats called their first timeout of the set down 15-18. The timeout allowed the Bobcats to regain the serve with a missed pass from the Cougars. Losing their lead the Cougars called a timeout up by one, 18-17. The Cougars were hungry for the win and continued to push in order to keep their lead. The Bobcats had serve on game point. Down 22-24 they felt the pressure and a missed serve gave the Cougars the set 25-22, as well as a two set advantage going into the third.
A change in pace occurred as the third set started, the Bobcats were off to an early lead 4-1. However the Cougars quickly fought back as Schmidt served an ace. The Cougars found their swing and turned the set around. The Bobcats called their first timeout falling behind 9-12. The Cougars didn't let the timeout stop them, and continued to play strong defense at the net. The Cougars had a lead of 16-11 as the technical timeout was called. The Cougars recognized the momentum they had gained and continued to optimize it in every play. The Cougars were able to maintain their five-point lead as the game continued. The Bobcats gave a hard fight, but were unable to catch the lead the Cougars had given themselves. The Cougars won the set 25-20 and took the match in three.
Tonight was only night one, the two teams will face off for a second time tomorrow night, Nov. 10, 2018 at 7 p.m. Hopeful for similar results, the Cougars are optimistic they can carry their momentum into the next match.