Cougars swept by No. 5 Saskatchewan


February 3, 2013, Regina, Sask (ISN) – In a match that was closer than the three-set winning margin might otherwise suggest, the University of Regina’s men’s volleyball team was swept by No. 5-ranked Saskatchewan on Saturday night in Canada West action at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.

The first set looked as though it was going to be all Cougars, as the home side jumped out to a 16-11 lead at the media timeout and extended that lead to 18-12 shortly thereafter. That forced a Saskatchewan timeout, and whatever head coach Brian Gavlas said during the break must have resonated with the Huskies as they won 13 of the next 14 points to take the first set by a 25-19 margin.

The second set was close throughout, as the score was tied 13 times and the lead changed hands four times. The Cougars had another late lead at 22-17, but again Saskatchewan battled back with a 7-1 run to force what would be the first of four set points. The Huskies finally capitalized on the fourth, getting a kill by Matthew Busse to take it 28-26.

The Cougars held another lead at the media timeout in the third set, but it would be the same tune again as Saskatchewan reeled off a 9-1 run immediately following the break to jump back into the driver’s seat. The Huskies cruised to a match-clinching 25-19 win in the third.

Bryan Fraser was lights-out for Saskatchewan, ending up with a match-high 21 kills and adding nine digs while leading all players with a .486 hitting percentage. Paul Thomson added 10 kills for the Huskies, while Chris Gilbert had 32 assists and a match-high 13 digs for the U of S.

Nathan Cherwaty got the start at libero and led the Cougars (2-18) with 12 digs, several of the spectacular variety. Andrew Nelson had 10 kills for the U of R, while Caleb Eschbach collected 25 assists and seven digs.

Saskatchewan (14-6) will host Manitoba next weekend in a critical Canada West series, while the Cougars will close out the 2012-13 season on the road next Friday and Saturday against Calgary.