author: nathan mccarville | sports writer
One last game in 2019 / Nathan McCarville
Cougars go down with a fight against Thunderbirds
The volleyball team played a heck of a last game against the Thunderbirds. Playing in the Canada West quarter-finals against UBC, the Thunderbirds started the game off hot, winning the first two sets of the match. Dominating much of the first half of the game, the Thunderbirds won the first set with a score of 25-17, and the second with a score of 25-14. However, when the third set looked like the last of the game, making it a short last game for the Cougars, the team pulled through. Sitting low on the scoreboard when the Thunderbirds were at nearly 20 points, the Cougars decided they were going to do everything they could to pull through. After a minute-long volley that never seemed to end with various digs, spikes, bumps and the like, the Cougars climbed the scoreboard, beating the Thunderbirds for the set, rushing up from behind, until the set ended with a score of 26-24, bringing the Cougars back to life, and back to being a contender for the match.
The next set was hard fought by the Cougars, getting a well-deserved win in the match 25-20, staying well ahead of the Thunderbirds for the set. It was the last set of the match that garnered silence around every play, and wild cheers around every point for the Cougars, showing off the Cougars’ home court advantage. The Cougars and the Thunderbirds having both won two sets, brought them to the last set that would only go to 15 points. The game was tense as the teams made dives and jumps to hit the ball over the net. When the intensity of the last set ended, the Thunderbirds were left the victor with a score of 16-14 in the final set, the Thunderbirds winning the match 3-2.
And what a season it’s been for the Cougars. The two games played against the Thunderbirds that happened to kick the Cougars from playoffs, were the last games that the Cougars had lost since the beginning of January. The Cougars had a running winning streak that reached the end of the season, winning against the Saskatchewan Huskies, Brandon Bobcats, MacEwan Griffins, UBC Okanagan Heat, and the Manitoba Bisons, with results mostly staying within the range of 3-1 and 3-0 in favour of the Cougars, bringing an end to the regular season with a bang and a record worth bragging about. The Cougars had a final season record of 16 regular season wins and eight losses, with a total of 27 wins and 14 losses when the preseason, classics, and invitational tournaments are included.
Top–scoring players for the Cougars throughout the season include Ashley Sandiford with 341.5 points for the year, followed closely by Jessica Lerminiaux with 310.5, Diana Lumbala with 232, Brooklyn Reynolds with 216.5, and Emma Matheson with 200, as well as Taylor Ungar with 392 digs for the season as the team’s libero.
Wrapping up the season with some hustle, the Cougars will be seen on the court once again in October for the 2019-20 season.