Kayla Kievits, Cougars Athletics
CALGARY – Cougars win their first Canada West Quarter Final series played on Kenyon Court. After sweeping the match in night one, and after a second night of hard-fought sets against the Huskies the Cougars walk away with a win and are off to the Semi-Finals next week. The final scores were 25-21, 22-25, 25-21 and 25-22.
The Booster Juice Player of the Game from the Huskies, Colin Fraser and from the Cougars, Tyler Schmidt. Fraser led his teams in attacks with a total of 15 kills. The Huskies racked up seven team blocks and a total serve percentage of 0.778. The Cougars lead attacker was none other than Schmidt with a total of 25 kills. The Cougars had a total of seven team blocks and an overall serve percentage of 0.844 giving them the competitive edge over the Huskies.
With one match under their belts, the Cougars brought their energy back to the court on night two. The Cougars showed a strong start, quickly gaining a lead over the Huskies. Finding luck in their blocking the Cougars doubled the Huskies score 12-6 forcing them to call a timeout. Cougars Tyler Schmidt began racking up kills quickly leading his team into the technical timeout with a lead of 16-9. The Huskies took back control of the serve following the technical timeout, which gave them the opportunity to fight their way back into the game. When the Cougars felt their lead slipping away at 20-16 they used their first timeout. Despite a comeback from the Huskies the Cougars sealed the deal when the Huskies were called on the net. The final score of the first set was 25-21.
After a momentum change halfway through the first set, the Huskies play significantly changed entering the second. The set started as a close match, teams going point-for-point neither able to pull away with the lead. The Cougars turned to focus on their defense, starting to get hands-on nearly every attack at the net they were the first to pull away leading 14-11. A right side kill from Cougars Schmidt led them into the technical timeout up by five, 16-11. The Huskies yet again started to shine as the set went on. Similar to the first the Huskies began to make their comeback. When the teams were tied at 18 the Cougars called their first timeout looking for a new strategy to stop the Huskies. The Cougars were unable to regroup and the Huskies took the set 25-22 with a block from Dylan Mortensen.
Tied at one set each both teams felt the pressure entering the third. The teams once again found themselves going point-for-point in a very close set. For the third time in a row Cougars Schmidt led his team to the technical timeout with a kill as they lead 16-13. The Cougars used their momentum to continue growing their lead. Late in the third the Huskies called both timeouts looking to make yet another comeback. Quickly pulling themselves back into the game the Huskies were determined to not make it easy on the Cougars. The Cougars called a timeout up 22-20 looking to end the set. After the timeout the Cougars quickly ended the set 25-21 giving them a one set advantage going into the fourth.
For the first time in the match, the Huskies took the first lead. Though only up a few points 6-3, the Huskies were the first with an early advantage. The Cougars adrenaline kicked in pushing their energy levels high. With a change in intensity, the Cougars were able to swing the set their way and take the lead 12-9. The Cougars continued their trend of being the first to 16, however, they only led by one at the technical timeout. Both teams kept the pressure on one another, both hungry for a win. With one last attempt to stay in the match, the Huskies used a timeout down 21-23. The Cougars couldn't be stopped and won the set 25-22 taking home the match in four sets.
Cougars Quinn Bromley said, "We were the more successful team tonight due to the fact that we had more patience and trusted our defence."
The Cougars will compete next weekend in the Canada West Semi-Finals against Brandon in Manitoba looking to secure their spot in the finals.