Tanner Michalenko, Mount Royal Sports Information
CALGARY – The Mount Royal Cougars successfully defended home turf on Friday night, defeating the UBCO Heat in straight sets (25-13, 25-19, 27-25)
There was absolutely no stopping the Cougars in the first set! Tanner Greves served up a 3-0 lead to start the match. The Heat and Cougars then traded numerous service errors, with UBCO taking their first time out with the score at 7-3 for Mount Royal.
The Cougars expanded their lead drastically after the timeout, making it 21-11 and forcing UBCO to take yet another timeout to try and splash water on the fire. The timeout failed the rally the Heat; the Cougars simply had a response for every glimpse of hope for the Heat, dominating the first set with a score of 25-13. They did so without taking a timeout, and maybe even breaking a sweat.
The second set started out much of the same to the first set. With the score tied 3-3, a Matt Saly kill gave teammate Josh Kirkham a serving opportunity. Josh took advantage of the opportunity, with back to back aces. The two squads traded points until a 3-0 Cougar run forced UBCO to spend their first timeout. The timeout was well spent, the Heat responded with a 3-0 run of their own to close the gap, 13-11.
The Cougars managed the weather the storm and steal a few points of their own off of UBCO attack errors. With the score 17-14, the Cougars essentially stole a point from the Heat. Quinn Bromley of the Cougars saved the ball from landing out of bounds and crashed into the edge of scorer's table in the process, drawing the loudest cheer of the night for the home team. Mount Royal miraculously secured the point shortly after, 18-14 Mount Royal. This seemed to inspire the Cougars, as they put the set away with a score of 25-19.
Through two sets, the Cougars were consistently winning the battle at the net, dictating the game to their liking. Quinn Bromley, Josh Kirkham and Riley Friesen acted as Mount Royal's "Big 3", giving the Cougars control of the match thus far.
In the third set, with their backs against the wall, the Heat matched the Cougars intensity and grabbed their first lead of the night, 7-6. The Heat didn't stop there, scoring 5 straight points making the score 10-6 and forcing the Cougars to spend their first timeout of the night.
The third set was quickly becoming the most competitive set of the night for the men's team. Although, every time the Cougars took a step forward, the Heat seemed to respond with a point or 2 of their own. Mount Royal finally tied the set up at 20 apiece. Riley Friesen then served up an ace to give the Cougars their first lead of the set since it was 6-5. This didn't phase the Heat one bit, as they rallied back to gain a 24-23 lead while forcing Mount Royal to take their final timeout of the set.
The timeout proved to be very well spent for Head Coach Shawn Sky, as Mount Royal came back to steal the victory, 27-25!
Mount Royal improves to 3-2 on the season, while UBCO falls to 1-4.
These two teams will be back at it tomorrow evening at 6:00pm MST on Kenyon Court.