BRANDON, M.B. (from Brandon Bobcats) – In what was essentially a must-win match for both the Brandon Bobcats and Mount Royal Cougars, the Cougars mounted an impressive comeback to tie the Bobcats in the Canada West standings.
The Cougars battled back from a 2-0 deficit to take the match 3-2 (23-25, 19-25, 25-15, 25-17, 15-6) in front of a loud and raucous crowd.
The Bobcats welcomed approximately 1,500 school-aged children for rare afternoon matches, but it was the visitors who came away with the crucial victory.
The Bobcats came away with the first two sets thanks to a potent serve game that has carried them most of the season, but struggled offensively hitting just .057 in the first. Brandon fell behind early but went on an 8-2 run to sneak it out the set thanks to Michelle Egger’s three aces and Nikala Majewski who put up five kills and no errors in the set.
The Bobcats played a lot better in the second, hitting .310 as a team.
The Cougars answered the bell in the third, hitting .323 as a team and running away with the set before continually building on their momentum thanks to tough serving in the last three sets that kept Brandon out of sync.
Alex Donaghy led Mount Royal with 17 kills and 13 digs. Cassidy Kitchen wasn’t far off with 16 kills and 10 digs while Natalia Klimenova had a match-high 20 digs.
The Bobcats were led by fourth-year outside Nikala Majewski’s team-high 13 kills, while Mary Thomson had a double-double with 29 assists and 11 digs. Rookie libero Caitlin Le had 16 digs.
Mount Royal’s win sets up a pivotal rematch Saturday as the two teams now sport identical 10-11 records with just one more weekend to go following Saturday.
First serve is set for 5 pm CST at the Brandon University Healthy Living Centre.The match will be the final home contests for graduating fifth-year players Mary Thomson and Ashley Hosfeld, who will be honoured immediately following Saturday’s match.