Steps in the right direction

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Cougars women’s volleyball gets back in playoff race

Autumn McDowell
Sports Writer

The University of Regina women’s volleyball team was in action against their record twins, the Winnipeg Wesmen, this past weekend as both teams went into the weekend with a 3-7 Canada West record. 
Regina was able to make up some ground in the playoff race by sweeping the Wesmen at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health and Sport.

On Friday, the Cougars got off to a bit of a slow start in the first set as they found themselves down 3-0, but four unanswered points caused them to regain the lead.  Cougars outside hitter Meagan Onstad played extremely well, contributing both offensively and defensively for the home team in the first, while teammate Michelle Sweeting made key plays at key times, helping propel the team to a 25-16 set victory. It seemed as though the Cougars got many of their points off of mistakes by the opposition.

The visitors’ performance improved slightly in the second set, as the score remained close. The two teams found themselves deadlocked at 10, but the strong play of Onstad allowed the Cougars to pull ahead and gain a five point lead over their opponents. It appeared as though Onstad could officially do no wrong in the second set, as even her desperate attempts resulted in points for the Cougars. As a result, the Cougars went on to take the second set by a score of 25-18.

As the third set began, Winnipeg began playing with desperation in an attempt to gain any sort of ground against the Cougars.  The Wesmen were awarded for their play by finally getting a lead on the Cougars, but the hometown girls crawled their way back to even things up at 18.  As the points were quickly approaching the magic 25, the Wesmen could feel the game slipping away. Three sets would prove to be all that the Cougars would need in order to steal the victory from the hands of Winnipeg, as they took the final set by a score of 25-21. 

“We played really well and we performed good.” said Sweeting of the team’s play on night one.

In order to sweep the weekend series with the Wesmen and gain valuable ground in the playoff race, Sweeting believed that the team would need to come out on night two strong and play with “as much aggression as we can”.

The Cougars proved to do just that on night two, and although it may have taken four sets, the Cougars were still able to add another win to their record (25-19, 25-13, 14-25, 28-26).  As a result of their strong play this weekend, the Cougars are 5-7 and sit in sole possession of the seventh and final playoff spot in the conference.

In order to hold on to their playoff spot, Sweeting believes that “teamwork” will be the most important factor down the stretch.

The Cougars next action is Friday and Saturday when they take on the Brandon Bobcats (7-5) at the CKHS. The game on Friday is at 6:15 p.m. and the Saturday game is at 8 p.m. Brandon is currently fifth in the standings and will provide a good test for the Cougars as they look towards the post-season.

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