CALGARY – After three hard-fought sets the Spartans are undefeated in both matches against the Cougars in regular season play. The final scores were 25-15, 25-19 and 25-18.
The Booster Juice Players of the Game, from the Spartans Jacob Kern and from the Cougars Quinn Bromley. Spartans lead attacker was Aaron Boettcher with a total of 11 kills. The team racked up nine blocks and had an overall serve percentage of 0.743. Cougars Trent Mounter led his team in attacks with a total of eight. The team had 2 blocks and a serve percentage of 0.792.
As the first set was underway both teams struggled with their serving. The first 12 points of the game consisted nearly half of missed serves. This kept the score relatively even between the Cougars and the Spartans. The Spartans were the first to go on a real serving run, also giving them the first real lead of the game 11-7. The Cougars used their first timeout down by three, 10-13. The Spartans held onto their lead 16-11 at the technical timeout. The Cougars were unable to get a block up to stop the Spartans killer attacks. As the Spartans increased their lead 19-12, the Cougars called their last timeout. The Cougars weren't able to find their rhythm and the Spartans ended the set with a tip from Jacob Kern 25-15.
The second set started similar to the first with a close score. The Spartans maintained a two-point lead over the Cougars for the first half of the set. Both teams hustled to keep the ball off the ground. The Spartans led 16-13 entering the technical timeout. Unable to put up a strong defence the Cougars allowed the Spartans to grow their lead. Still behind 14-19, the Cougars used their first timeout of the set. Despite their efforts, the Cougars couldn't seem to catch a break. A few points later, down 17-23 the Cougars called their second timeout. Though the Cougars regained the serve they weren't able to come back. The Spartans took the set 25-19.
The third set started to fall in favour of the Cougars as for the first time in the match they found themselves in an early lead. However, this didn't stop the Spartans and once again the teams found themselves in a point-for-point situation. The teams were tied at ten, then once again at 11. The Spartans pulled ahead by one and were the first to reach 16, entering the timeout with a score of 16-15. When the Spartans pulled away creating the first notable lead of the set 21-17 the Cougars called a timeout. When the Spartans refused to give up the next two points, the Cougars used their second timeout hoping to stay in the match. A tip from Spartans Aaron Boettcher ended the set 25-18 and the match in three sets.
Spartans Booster Juice Player of the Game Kern said, "I thought I was successful tonight hitting the balls Derek was setting me. He makes it easy for me as a hitter do my job well."
The Cougars are back in action next weekend for their last game of the regular season. They are back on Kenyon court hoping for home team advantage as they take on their Calgary rivals the Dinos. The first match starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8.