CALGARY - The University of Alberta Pandas came back from a 2-1 set deficit to claim a five-set victory (25-18, 20-25, 20-25, 25-20, 15-13) for the first match of the weekend against the Mount Royal University Cougars, Friday night at Kenyon Court.
The two teams seemed evenly matched as they traded points in the first set. After tying 6-6, Alberta pulled ahead and held a steady lead of six points. Mount Royal was making some hard strikes, but just couldn’t close the point gap. The Pandas took the set 25-18.
Once again, the second set was back and forth as the teams relentlessly worked on each other. They were tied at 13 points until Mount Royal stole the lead, holding it by at least five points. The set closed with a service ace from Cougars’ Chantel Park to take it 25-20.
The Pandas opened the third set with a kill from Kory White despite an attempted block from Mount Royal’s Tasha Holness. It seemed Alberta was going to take the set cleanly, but Mount Royal forced a comeback, pulling ahead to take it 25-20.
Alberta was leading the fourth with Mount Royal playing catch-up to try and even the score. Both teams bounced between serving errors, repeatedly giving the advantage to each other. The fourth set closed at 25-20 in favour of Alberta.
The match was approaching its end with rally after rally, the teams bouncing between two-point leads. The match point was determined by a Cougars miscommunication, finishing the set 15-13. This marked the first loss of the season for Mount Royal.
The Cougars will once again host the Pandas on Saturday at 7 p.m. MT on Kenyon Court. It will be broadcasted live on CanadaWest.tv, presented by Co-op.