Tanner Michalenko, Mount Royal Sports Information
CALGARY – The Mount Royal Cougars came back from a 2-0 set deficit to defeat the MacEwan Griffins on Friday night at Kenyon Court (20-25, 15-25, 25-21, 25-18, 17-15).
Julia Kryzan and Cassidy Kitchen each had 11 kills in the Cougar victory, while teammate Alex Donaghy provided 10 kills of her own.
The first set didn't go as planned for Mount Royal. Midway through the set, the Griffins took advantage of some sloppy play from the Cougars. After a few bad setups and misjudged balls the Griffins went on a 6-1 run forcing Mount Royal to call the nights first timeout.
Coming out of their first time out, the Cougars still didn't seem to be on the same page. Mount Royal surrendered a 6-2 run and called their second timeout of the set.
The Cougars did clean things up and improve their play after the second timeout. However, MacEwan was able to wrap up the first set by a score of 25-20.
In the second set, the Griffins went on an 8-1 run to separate themselves from the Cougars. Bad sets and attack errors once again made it easier for the Griffins to finish out the set with a comfortable 2-0 lead.
The third set started with the Griffins building an early advantage, but Mount Royal stormed back, knowing their backs were up against the wall. Taylor Pelland and Cassidy Kitchen took advantage of their respective service opportunities to help the Cougars build a decent lead. After a few very exciting rallies, Mount Royal claimed the third set 25-21, putting them right back in the match.
Mount Royal continued to look impressive in the fourth set. Amy Gordon was very reliable for the Cougars at just the right time. Gordon started Mount Royal's momentum swing with six unanswered points off serve. Cougar teammate Taylor Pelland finished what Gordon started. Pelland's kill won Mount Royal the set by a score of 25-18 to force a fifth and final set.
The deciding set did not disappoint. After numerous competitive rallies, Mount Royal fell into their bad habits from the first two sets. The Griffins went on a 7-1 run that featured four Cougar attack errors to give themselves a game point opportunity.
With the game on the line, Mount Royal called their final timeout to try and steal the victory. Three straight thrilling Mount Royal points stole the set for the Cougars and thus completing the comeback.
Mount Royal improves to 6-9, while MacEwan drops to 4-13.
The Cougars will hit the road next weekend as they travel up the highway for a pair against the Alberta Pandas. First serve for Friday night's match is scheduled for 7:30pm MST at the Saville Community Sports Centre.
MacEwan will travel to Regina to take on the lowly Cougars next weekend. Their first match is scheduled for Feb. 3 in Regina at 6:00pm CST.