Huskies Extend Playoff Lifeline

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Nicole Betker

The University of Saskatchewan Huskies extended their win streak to three matches with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-13, 25-23) victory over the visiting UBC Okanagan Heat Friday night at the PAC in Saskatoon.

With the win the Huskies improve to 4-13 on the season and keep playoff hopes alive. One loss by the Huskies or a win by the Winnipeg Wesmen on Saturday would remove Saskatchewan from the postseason race. The Heat fall to 5-12.

Fifth-year middle blocker Geoffrey Zerr led the offence for the Huskies tallying 11 kills in the victory. He also added three assisted blocks and four digs. Outside hitter Matthew Busse added nine digs, two service aces, three solo blocks and two assisted blocks for the Huskies. Paul Thomson also chipped in on offence with eight kills.

Riley McFarland led the Heat with 10 kills and five digs. Greg Niemantsverdriet followed with six kills and five digs. Preston Tucker recorded 24 assists.

Middle blockers Braden McLean and Zerr led the Huskies to a 7-4 lead in the first set with five kills. UBC Okanagan pulled back in the game and kept it tight until the 14th point. The Huskies went ahead 15-14 on a Zerr attack that the Heat couldn’t dig up. Saskatchewan took control of the set and outscored the Heat 10-2 for the 25-16 win.

A five-point Thomson service run pulled the Huskies in front 7-1 in the second set. UBC Okanagan could never get back in the set after the early deficit. Saskatchewan continued to roll to the 25-13 win.

UBC Okanagan kept the third set close until the Huskies began to break away on a Busse five-point service run at 8-3. The Heat found their offence and tied the game at 10. The Heat kept the game close allowing Saskatchewan to go ahead by no more than two points. McLean ended the set 25-23 with an attack straight down the middle.

The two teams will meet again Saturday night at the PAC. Match time is 8 p.m. It can be watched on www.canadawest.tv.

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