Brendan Stasiewich, Mount Royal Sports Information
CALGARY- After a disappointing loss a night prior, the Mount Royal Cougars (8-12) dominated in all facets of the game against the Brandon Bobcats (8-14) on Saturday evening on Kenyon Court, winning in straight sets (25-23, 25-19, 25-20).
Cassidy Kitchen was the best player on the court all evening, registering 10 kills while being dependable from the service line, registering two aces. Alex Donaghy also continued her strong season with 12 kills.
As far as unsung heroes go, Amy Gordon had a spectacular night setting the ball, making 32 assists without a single error. Maddi Quinn was also an important part of the Cougars win, leading the game with 15 digs at the libero position.
Mount Royal came out with a vengeance in the opening minutes of the game. Alex Donaghy and Taylor Pelland dominated the front of the net as the team stormed out to a quick 9-3 lead, forcing the Bobcats to take their first time out.
Out of the timeout, Brandon managed to win nine out of the next twelve points to knot the set at 12.
Mount Royal would steal back the momentum soon after as three separate Cougars made kills on the next three points, giving the home team a slim three point lead.
The theme of momentum shifts continued, Nikala Majewski made two straight kills on route to a four-point run, putting Brandon ahead 16-15 before a Cougars timeout.
With the set tied at 22, Cougars setter Amy Gordon took advantage of a bad Brandon set-up, rising above the net to make a rare kill for the dependable assist-machine.
A few points later with the score 24-23 Cassidy Kitchen would make the most important of her four kills in the set, rocketing a hit off the hands of a defender, giving the Cougars a 1-0 set lead.
Brandon came out stronger in the second set, doubling up Mount Royal early taking a 10-5 lead.
Fighting from behind the entire set, the Cougars methodically clawed their way back into the game, eventually tying things up at 18.
The Cougars, winning the next three points, then received a clutch serve from Carly Davies, who painted the back line to give the Cougars their largest lead of the set to that point at 22-18.
A few points later Amy Gordon mimicked Davies, sending another floating serve into the back line, giving the Cougars a 25-19 win.
Like the Bobcats did to them the game before, the Cougars started the third set off by doubling up Brandon 10-5. Also like the game before, the lead wouldn't last.
Five straight Bobcats points, three of which achieved because of sloppy Cougars' errors, knotted the game up at 10.
After Brandon won six out of the next eight points, Mount Royal came out of a timeout winning four in a row, with an exclamation point provided by Taylor Pelland sending another rocket down the line, tying the game at 16. Moments later the Cougars took a 17-16 lead, forcing a Brandon timeout.
The timeout didn't help, as Cassidy Kitchen, the Cougars' best player on the evening, dominated the service line with her second ace of the evening to give her team a 20-16 lead.
Before it was all said and done the Cougars' registered nine unanswered points to take a five-point lead.
The Cougars would carry this momentum into the end of the game, winning the set 25-20 with ease.
The win was an important one for the Cougars as they take over the final playoff spot with just two weekends remaining in the regular season.
Mount Royal will host Saskatchewan next weekend while Brandon has the weekend off.