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Too little, too late

Packed House
Packed House

The men’s volleyball team hits their stride as the season closes

Article: Brady Lang – Sports Writer

The No. 5 seeded team in the country is no problem for our 1-17 Regina Cougars men’s volleyball team.

After a rough start, the squad has now gone 2-2 in the past two weeks and the team is finally putting wins on the board after the lowly start they had at the beginning of the season.

The reason? Fifth-year veteran Joel Legasse believes it was a matter of team aggression.

“I think we’ve turned the corner as a team [after these two wins],” said the Regina native. “We’ve been more aggressive and everyone has been playing really well. We know that the end of the season is coming and we feel like we can leave it all on the table now.

“We weren’t being aggressive enough early on in the season. Our new Australian [Brad Millers] has really helped us as well. We also played the best teams in Canada West in the first half, which didn’t help us at all.”

With all of the past set aside, the team looked great this weekend and appear to have turned the corner going into the final games of the season. Their hard work and ability to leave it on the court night in and night out definitely hasn’t gone unnoticed around those who have watched the club since the beginning of the season.

They look like a new team and really have nothing to lose as the season wears on. Playing in their final two home games last weekend, the Cougars grabbed one of two possible wins against No. 5 ranked Thompson Rivers and came very close to sweeping the weekend against the highly ranked team.

The club looks to be playing with a chip on their shoulder as of late and will try to build off of the momentum they’ve gained in recent weeks into their final games of the 2013-14 season.

It’s obvious that the team is way too late on their recent winning ways, but setting a foundation for next year and beyond has become the focus.

Although they are a younger team, they will still be losing five key players in the offseason. But the younger players seem like they’re ready to step up and show what they’re made of in the upcoming seasons.

First-year transfer student Millers has made a huge impact on the court, as well as many other young players that the team possesses. Third-years Rhondri Simmonds and Andrew Nelson will take over the team from fifth-years Legasse, Ryan, Nathan Cherwaty, Caleb Eschbach and Marco Vargas next season and the team is in a good spot to build off of and learn from the struggles early on in the campaign.

After a 2-20 season in 2012-13, a lot of fans believed that this would be the year the squad would turn the corner. But, just like last year at this time, the squad is looking to build onto becoming a powerhouse in the CIS – something many believe will happen in the upcoming seasons.

The Cougars will wrap up their season next week in Kelowna when they take on UBC Okanagan (4-16). The team will hope to beat last seasons win total of two.

Image: Marc Messett

About Brady Lang

Former benchwarmer and full time sports junkie with a passion for broadcast journalism. I’ll talk sports with anyone, even if you’re a Yankees fan!