Cougars roundup

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The break’s over, and we’re back to business

Autumn McDowell
Sports Editor

Most of the University of Regina Cougars teams have been out of action since Dec.7. During the month off they have had time to heal wounds, refocus on goals, and try to forget about embarrassing losses.

Now that the new year is officially underway, student-athletes have returned to the court, ice, and mats with the hopes of making 2012 a year to remember.

Men’s basketball

The Cougars came into 2012 with a 2-5 record – not awful, but not great either.

The Cougars finally returned to the court Jan. 6-7, hoping to improve their record against the Brandon Bobcats.

Unfortunately, the men didn’t start the new year how they might have liked, as the Bobcats handed them a 96-73 loss on Night 1. The Cougars were unable to come back from a first-quarter flurry, despite efforts from Sterling Nostedt and Conner Burns.

The Cougars had their eyes on revenge Saturday night when they returned for another dual with Brandon. After being down by just one point going into the second quarter, the Cougars went on a 14-point run to easily take the lead. This time it was Brandon that couldn’t recover from the offensive swing. Regina went on to take the contest by a final score of 83-74 on route to capturing its third win of the season. Jared Janotta had a big night for the visitors, setting career highs with 22 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists.

The Cougars will begin the search for their fourth win this weekend when they visit the Manitoba Bisons.

Women’s basketball

Regina continued its unbeaten streak against the Brandon Bobcats on Jan. 6-7 by a rather embarrassing margin. On Friday night, the Cougars took it to Brandon by a score of 96-38. How a university basketball team was only able to muster 38 points is both embarrassing and hilarious. Rookie Alyssa Kajati put up 12 points in just 15 minutes against the Bobcats; she must feel like she’s in high school again.

Surprisingly, Brandon did show up to the second meeting against the Cougars, but the outcome was the same. The Cougars were able to gain a large lead and kept it after scoring 17 of the games first 18 total points; their lead was never threatened once in 40 minutes of play.

This was partly due to Michelle Clark going 5-for-10 from the three-point line and racking up 23 points on way to the Cougars ninth-consecutive victory (92-46).

The Cougars (9-0) are set to take on the Manitoba Bisons (3-7) this weekend in what will surely be a couple of long nights for the Bisons.

Women’s volleyball

While the men’s volleyball team enjoyed another weekend off, the women’s team went back to work to take on the No. 4-ranked Winnipeg Wesmen.

Although Regina was able to keep the scores quite close with the Wesmen, it was never able to build up a strong enough lead and eventually lost the match in three-straight sets (25-21, 25-15, 25-19). Fifth-year outside hitter Meagan Onstad kept the Cougars in the game with 10 digs and nine kills, but it wasn’t enough to secure the victory.

The Cougars looked to turn the tables on Night 2 of the weekend series against the Wesmen, and judging by the first set they were eager for a 2012 win. After trailing by as many as five points, the Cougars went on a 12-5 run to get back in the game. The two teams found themselves deadlocked at 25, but an error by the Wesmen and a kill from right side Chelsea Ziolkowski gave the Cougars a 27-25 set win.

Unfortunately, the Wesmen came out strong in the remaining sets to secure three-straight set wins over the visitors (25-23, 25-21, 25-22).

The Cougars (2-10) will continue their search for a win in 2012 this weekend at home against the Manitoba Bisons (7-3). Game time is set for 6:15 p.m. on Friday and 8 p.m. on Saturday.

Men’s wrestling

During a dual on Jan. 4, the men’s wrestling team started 2012 off with a bang as it scored a 33-11 victory over Minot State.

Gilbert Musonza (57 kilograms), Steve Schneider (65 kg), Kirk Ackerman (68 kg), and Gaelan Malloy (72 kg) all scored match wins in the dual while Sam Dietrich (54 kg), Marlin Legare (61 kg) and Richard Bell (76 kg) were also awarded wins by forfeit.

Everyone will get a chance to see the U of R wrestlers in action at the Cougar Open, which is set to take place this Saturday at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health and Sport.

Women’s hockey

The year 2012 has not treated the women’s hockey team very well so far, as it suffered back-to-back losses against the Manitoba Bisons Jan. 6-7.

The Cougars were unable to get on the board Friday night, and going 0-3 on the powerplay didn’t help matters. However, the penalty kill stayed strong, holding the Bisons to 0-6 on the man advantage. Regina eventually lost to Manitoba 2-0 off of goals by Rachele Bosc and Nellie Minshull.

Night 2 was more of the same for the Cougars, who went on to lose their second-straight game in the New Year 2-1. Jessica Carswell lit the lamp to get the Bisons on the board midway through the first period to give the home team an early lead. Carleen Meszaros was able to get the Cougars on the board after she scored a powerplay marker with eight minutes left in the second. After going into the third period tied at one apiece, both teams could taste the victory that was just one goal away. Nellie Minshull got the eventual game winner at the halfway mark of the final period.

The Cougars, who are now 4-11-1, are scheduled to take on the UBC Thunderbirds (1-11-2) this weekend at the Co-operators Centre. Puck drops at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night.

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