SASKATOON – The Mount Royal University Cougars moved into a tie for sixth place in the conference with a 3-1 (25-19, 21-25, 25-14, 26-24) win over the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Friday night at the PAC.
The Cougars improve to 7-8 on the season and move into a tie with the Huskies (7-10) and two other teams in the Canada West standings. Mount Royal still has the advantage of an extra two games to play compared to the three teams they are tied with.
The Cougars led start to finish in the first set. Mount Royal seized control of the set at 18-11 with a kill by Taylor Pelland. A Huskie setting error finished the set off, 25-19 in Mount Royal's favour.
In the second, it looked like it might be more of the same when Mount Royal jumped out to a 5-2 lead. Saskatchewan responded with an offensive barrage and stole the lead back with a 7-0 run. The Saskatchewan lead grew to six at 12-6 with a Taylor Annala ace. Mount Royal tied it up at 21 before the Huskies rallied off four straight points to take it 25-21.
The Cougars raced out to a 12-4 lead in the pivotal third set and cruised to the 25-14 set win.
After moving in front 4-3 in the fourth set, Mount Royal would go on a roll to build a four-point cushion at 8-4. The Huskies saw the deficit grow to 17-11 before pushing back with a six-point surge, trying to force a fifth set. A pair of Cougar points put the Huskies up against the wall at match point down 24-22. Another Annala kill and a block by Marguerite Ferguson squared the set up at 24. But the Cougars would not be denied as Pelland and Alex Donaghly finished off the match with back-to-back kills.
Annala led Saskatchewan with a match-high 17 kills on the night. Jenelle Sokoloski chipped in with another 10 kills and added nine digs.
Alex Donaghy put home 15 kills in the victory for Mount Royal. Donaghy also led the Cougars with 15 digs in the match. Chantel Park and Taylor Pelland each tallied three service aces as Mount Royal finished the match with 11 in total.
The two teams meet again Saturday night at 6 p.m. at the PAC.