SASKATOON – Despite a strong effort in the third set, the host University of Saskatchewan Huskies were unable to climb their way back into the game in a 3-1 (25-19, 25-17, 22-25, 25-14) loss to the Alberta Golden Bears inside the PAC Friday night.
The Golden Bears, who entered the weekend ranked third in the country, held a decisive advantage both offensively and defensively on the night. The visitors held a .412-.186 advantage in hitting percentage while also putting up 16 blocks to Saskatchewan's two.
Jackson Kennedy racked up 16 kills, finishing on 28 of his swings in the match. George Hobern and Braedon Friesen were both monsters at the night for Alberta. Hobern finished with 7 kills, two solo blocks and six block assists while Friesen added two solo blocks and five block assists.
Cole Burkart had 16 kills for the Huskies, Levi Olson recorded 12 kills and a whopping five service aces while CJ Gavlas chipped in with 37 assists and three service aces of his own.
The Golden Bears claimed the first two sets thanks in large part to seven kills from Jackson and a strong defensive effort that limited Saskatchewan to hitting under .150 in each set.
Saskatchewan bounced back to claim the third set, holding off a late Bears push to force a fourth frame thanks to a kill from Burkart.
Unfortunately for the home crowd that fourth set was all Alberta. The visitors jumped out to a 14-7 lead and never looked back en route to the victory.
These teams will be back in action tomorrow evening inside the PAC. Starting at 5 p.m., the game tomorrow will serve as the final home game in the Huskies' careers of Cole Burkart, Daven Pascal and Daulton Sinoski. The team will also honour both the Adam Ens and the late Darcey Busse who were recently inducted into the Canada West Hall of Fame.