Cougars drop final home game to Dinos

Cougars drop final home game to Dinos
Kayla Kievits, Cougars Athletics 
CALGARY - What better way to end the season then the two Calgary teams facing off? The Cougars took on the Dinos on Kenyon court for the last game of the 2017/18 season. Although they lacked home court advantage it was the Dinos who came out on top in four sets after a close fight. The final scores were 25-18, 25-22, 21-25 and 25-22.

The Cougars want to recognize senior player Alex Donaghy, who was always a force to be reckoned with on the court. Not only was she the lead attacker, but also the Booster Juice Player of the Game. Another special recognition to Dinos Senior Laura McManes who was the second Booster Juice Player of the Game. The Dinos rounded off the match with a serve percentage of 0.916, and the Cougars with 0.820. The Cougars led in team blocks with 10 compared to the Dinos eight.

The first set started with an early lead for the Dinos. Falling behind by five points the Cougars used their first timeout, 2-7. The timeout fell in the favour as the Dinos hit the next ball out. The luck continued in the Cougars favour as Zalasky served an ace closing in on the lead by only one point, 6-7. Another ace from Cougars Donaghy tied the game at eight. Points went back and forth between the teams. The Dinos pulled ahead by one entering the technical timeout 16-15. With the Dinos expanding their lead 21-17 the Cougars called their second timeout. The Cougars were unable to close the gap. The Dinos finish the set 25-18.

The second set started with neither team gaining a lead. The teams each earned a point back and forth tying the set at eight. A combination of attacks and errors kept the teams neck and neck. The Dinos pulled ahead by one point entering the technical timeout 16-15. However, Cougars Donaghy came out of the timeout with a kill yet again tying the game. When the Dinos pulled ahead by two 22-20 the Cougars called a timeout in order to re-group. The timeout kept the Cougars in the game. As the score hit 24-22 the Dinos called their timeout hoping to get the winning point. An outside kill from Dinos Vinnell ended the set 25-22, putting the Dinos at a two-set advantage entering the third.

Going into the third set nothing changed the teams stayed on their pattern of playing point for point. For the first time, the Cougars pulled ahead by three points 9-6 forcing the Dinos to call a timeout. A missed serve from the Dinos pushed the score to 16-13 for the Cougars entering the technical timeout. The Cougars took their lead and ran with it. For the first time in the match, they were able to not only maintain but also grow their lead. Up by five, 23-19 the Cougars could taste the win that would keep the match alive. When the lead shrank to three, the Cougars called a timeout to get their heads back in the game. Winning the point following the timeout, the Cougars only needed one more. A middle kill from Zalasky sealed the deal 25-21, forcing a fourth set.

With no surprise, the fourth set started just as the first three, point for point. Both teams were scrambling hard to ensure no ball hit the floor. The Cougars were first to hit 16, but only by a hair, as they entered the technical timeout up 16-15. Coming out of the timeout the Dinos were strong at the net, blocking nearly every attack, pushing them into the lead 18-17. With the taste of victory in their mouths, the Dinos pushed through and increased their lead 21-18. The Cougars called a timeout hoping to regain their composure. With strong attacks, the Cougars pulled themselves back into the game, and the Dinos called a timeout leading only by one, 22-21. The timeout fell in the Dinos favour and they increased their lead 24-21, which is when Cougars called their second timeout. A monster kill out of middle from the Dinos ended the game 25-22. The Dinos took the match in four sets.

Cougars Alex Donaghy said, "Some of the most memorable moments this season were when the team came into the middle to celebrate. Everyone got so excited and so close. I hope to continue playing, hopefully overseas in the future."

The Cougars overall had a successful season, strong on both offense and defense the Cougars were a well-rounded team, and we are looking forward to seeing them back on Kenyon court next season.