Kayla Kievits, Cougars Athletics
CALGARY - After winning their first match of the New Year the Cougars were unable to secure a second win. The Cougars took on the WolfPack for their second meeting of the weekend at Keynon Court. The WolfPack took the match in four sets. The final scores were, 19-25, 29-27, 25-16 and 25-20.
The Booster Juice players of the game were Cougars Dandeault and WolfPacks Nyukhalova. The teams played pretty evenly when looking at stats. Both teams had a team block total of 6. The Cougars serve percentage was 0.831, and the WolfPacks 0.887. The Cougars lead attacker was Kitchen with a total of 13 kills followed close behind by Donaghy and Davies both with 12. The WolfPacks lead attacker Nyukhalova racked up 20 kills over the four sets.
The first set started off strong for both teams. With service aces coming from both sides of the court, and strong attacks the two teams knew they were in for a fight to secure the win of their second meeting. The Cougars took a slight lead over the WolfPack and were able to consistently maintain it. Going into the technical timeout the Cougars were up by three, 16-13. As the second half of the game approached a close the WolfPack used both their timeouts to try and break the Cougars momentum. Unfortunately, the timeouts did not stop Cougars Donaghy, proving to be a powerhouse in the front row. The Cougars secured the win with a final score of 25-19.
The second set started going back and forth in points between the two teams. The WolfPack was showing a strong presence at the net blocking. The teams were dead even tied at 10. It was the WolfPack who was first to reach 16, only up by one, 16-15. When the WolfPack took a slight lead 18-16 the Cougars called their first timeout to regroup. Once again Cougars Donaghy was fed the ball in the front row, racking up kill after kill. With the WolfPack on the cusp of a win, the Cougars called a timeout down 22-24. Following the timeout, the Cougars scored the next two points to tie the game again at 24. Neither team refusing to give up they continued to go point-for-point. In the end, it was the WolfPack that pulled ahead winning the set 29-27.
The third set started just as the second ended, back and forth. Neither team pulled ahead in the first half of the set. Tied at 13, the two teams were fighting to be the first to reach 16. The WolfPack were the first to gain more than a one-point lead, going into the technical timeout ahead 16-14. Carrying their momentum the WolfPack took their lead and ran with it. Giving the Cougars very little chances to score, the WolfPack won the set 25-16, giving them a one set advantage going into the fourth.
Once again both teams came out ready to fight. Going point-for-point seemed to be the trend of the night. Once again the teams battled for points meeting at 10. The Cougars were desperate to force a fifth set, and the WolfPack could taste the win. Passive offensive from the Cougars gave the WolfPack the chance to take a two-point lead. The Cougars called the first timeout of the set as they fell behind 10-13. The timeout fell in their favour as the WolfPack missed their first serve back. The WolfPack was able to maintain their lead entering the technical timeout 16-12. When the WolfPack scored the first two points after the technical timeout, the Cougars called a timeout of their own. The Cougars were unable to close the gap and the WolfPack took the fourth set and the match. The final score was 25-20.
The Cougars will play again next weekend back on home court. They take on the University of Alberta on Jan. 12, 2018. After a split weekend, the Cougars are looking to bring home a two-night win.