|Disapointing weekend for the Cougars|
by Adam Geiger
“When you’re hot you’re hot, and when you’re not you’re not.”
That popular one-liner from a 1970’s Jerry Reid song was blast over the sound system at the Centre for Kinesiology Health & Sport Saturday night during a second set timeout, and turned out to be a sign of what was to come.
The 2005 campaign has certainly been less than hot for the Cougar men’s volleyball team, with the team coming out of the starting gate sporting a 1-4 record heading into Saturday’s game. Saturday night proved to be no different, with a few bad breaks, eventually costing the Cougars the game.
Following Friday night’s straight sets loss to the Winnipeg Wesmen, the Cougars went into Saturday’s game as definite underdogs. However, right from the opening serve it was evident that the team had put that game behind them, and were ready for a battle. The Cougars maintained their intensity throughout the game, and played like they were the team atop the Great Plains Division rather than Winnipeg. Although the Cougars were battling hard, they found themselves down two games to none, mainly due to poor serving in key situations throughout the first two sets. Rather than give up, the Cougars came back in the third set, and with the help of timely blocks at the net by the solid front line, Regina took the third set 25-23.
Heading into the fourth, the Cougars had momentum on their side. With the help of second-year player Ryan DeCosse who finished with 31 assists and went diving head first into the protective padding to maintain a rally, the Cougars were beginning to mount a comeback. Cue the controversy.
Trailing by two, the Cougars were up against match point for Winnipeg. While attempting to return the ball, the Wesmen were obviously guilty (to 99 per cent of the people in the gym) of a double hit. Irate with the fact that the play wasn’t called by the lead official, Cougars head coach Scott Schutz jumped from his chair, and was nearly on the court as he blasted the official from the sidelines. As play continued, the Cougars – rattled from the no-call – were unable to return the ball as it bounced from the net, and onto the hardwood. The head referee summoned help from his assistant officials, however with a shrug of the shoulders, the game was over. Boos rang from the crowd and the home team’s bench, as a valiant effort from the Cougars was thwarted by a missed call.
Chris Knoop lead the Cougars in a losing effort with 15 kills, while Colin Fraser had five blocks for points. Knoop leads the Cougars with 78 kills on the season, is second in digs per game with 1.19, and third in total points with 82.5.
With the loss, the Cougar men drop to 1-5 in the Great Plains division. Thus far, the win-loss record hasn’t been one that the team is happy with, however, the effort that coach Schutz saw from his team Saturday must definitely make it easier looking forward. Of the fourteen players on the Cougars roster, half are first year players. 2005 may not be the year of the Cougar when it comes to Men’s Volleyball, but in the near future look for Regina to be in the thick of the action when championship season rolls around.
The men see their next action this weekend as the Huskies from Saskatoon come to town for Friday and Saturday night games. Friday’s game will be 6:30 start time, while Saturday’s game goes at 8:00. Be sure to head down to the CKHS and check out your Cougar men’s volleyball team in action.
Cougar women drop disappointing game
The Cougar Women’s Volleyball team will want to forget Saturday’s game against the Winnipeg Wesmen altogether.
Heading into Saturday’s game, the lady Cougars were ranked seventh in the country, and had just beaten Winnipeg the night before in straight sets. However, Saturday night the roles were reversed.
Winnipeg came out strong in the first set, putting the Cougars back on their heels, as Winnipeg capitalized on the mistakes that we’re being made by Regina. Winnipeg overwhelmed the Cougars with their power game at the net, as Kristin Brisebois and Marlee Bragg proved to be the spark plugs behind a Wesmen team that could seemingly do no wrong. Bragg led the game with 12 kills, to go along with Beisebois’s four kills, two aces and two blocks.
After Winnipeg took the first set 25-19, the Cougars came back in the second looking determined to fight their way back into the game. Cougars third year player Anne Fleming stepped into the foreground and dominated the play at the net in the second set, coming face to face with Brisebois in what was a key match up during the game. Fleming, who led the Cougars with nine kills, was in-sync with setter Kelly Prokopetz the entire match, as the two hooked up on three consecutive kills in the second set to bring the Cougars back into the game. However, after winning a long rally late in the second set, the Wesmen regained their hold on the game, and took the second set 25-23.
Heading into the third, the Cougars we looking for someone to step up and bring them back into the game, but whatever the home team brought to the table, the Wesmen had an answer for it. Winnipeg closed out an impressive performance with a 25-14 win in the third set, sweeping the game and splitting the two game weekend series.
Cougars setter Kelly Prokopetz was named the player of the game for the home team. Prokopetz racked up thirty-one assists in a losing cause, pushing her total to 142 on the year.
While one loss isn’t the end of the world, it may be an eye opener for a Cougar team that played well below its standards Saturday night. The ladies will have a chance to redeem themselves next weekend as their home stand continues, with the rival University of Saskatchewan Huskies coming to town for two games on Friday and Saturday night. Action starts at 8:00 pm on Friday and 6:30 pm on Saturday, at the CKHS.