The University of Saskatchewan Huskies opened up the second half of the 2017-18 Canada West men’s volleyball season with a 3-1 (23-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-21) over the University of Regina Cougars Friday night on Ron & Jane Graham Centre Court at the PAC.
After Regina took the first set 25-23, the Huskies won three straight to seal the four-set victory.
The win improves Saskatchewan to 4-9. Regina falls to 1-12.
Fourth-year Colin Fraser led the Huskie attack with 14 kills, 12 digs, a service ace and a block. First-year Dylan Mortensen continued his strong freshman year with 11 kills, five digs, and two service aces.
For Regina, second-year Matthew Aubrey recorded a match-high 16 kills, seven digs and a service ace. Fellow second-year Conal McAinsh chipped in with five kills and three service aces.
Neither team would see a lead larger than two throughout the first set. With the score at 20-20, second-year Aidan Saladana recorded back-to-back kills to help give Saskatchewan a small cushion. After a Regina timeout, the Cougars defence sealed a 25-23 win with two blocks.
2015-16 national rookie of the year CJ Gavlas started the second set on an eight-point service run to give the Huskies a 10-3. The Huskies built a comfortable 22-13 lead and went on to win 25-18.
Regina took command of the third, riding the play of second-year Matthew Aubrey to a 22-17 Cougar advantage late in the set. However, three Cougar attack errors and a Huskie block put the teams at a 22-22 tie. A Mortensen kill, followed by a Fraser service ace would steal the set for the Huskies, 25-23.
With the Huskies up 21-20 in the deciding set; Mortensen would smash a kill, take service and deliver an ace to give his team a match-point opportunity. A bad set by the Cougars would seal the win at 25-21.
The teams meet again on Saturday night. First serve is at 8 p.m.
Saskatchewan 3 @ Lethbridge 2
Opening the second semester of Canada West action, the third ranked Saskatchewan Huskies jumped on the Pronghorns early, riding a two-goal first period to a 3-2 win.
The loss drops the Pronghorns’ record to 7-9-1. The win improves Saskatchewan’s record to 14-2-1 and within two points of the conference leading Alberta Golden Bears, following a Bears overtime loss in Winnipeg tonight.
“We didn’t show up on time, we only played 30 or 40 minutes of good hockey and we out-scored and out chanced them in that span,” said Pronghorn head coach Spiros Anastas. “But when playing a great team you can’t give them that kind of time.”
“At the end of the day, when you get three breakaways and four power play opportunities, you have to capitalize. We didn’t when it counted most.”
“We will be better bearing down tomorrow and continue to build from there,” concluded Anastas.
Jesse Forsberg scored twice in the first period, while Jordan Tkatch picked up the eventual game winning goal. Russ Maxwell and Connor Sanvido replied for the Pronghorns.
Less than four minutes into the game, the Huskies opened the scoring. Jesse Forsberg picked up his sixth of the season, taking a pass in the slot from John Lawrence and beating Pronghorn goaltender Garret Hughson low blocker.
In a period dominated by the third ranked Huskies, Forsberg doubled the Huskie lead with just over five minutes remaining in the period. During a goalmouth scramble, Forsberg jumped on a loose puck and banged home his second of the night.
Shots through 20 minutes heavily favored the Huskies, 17-3.
While struggling in the opening period, the Pronghorns brought themselves back into the game before the five minute mark of the second. On a two-on-one break Arty Kalashnikov slid a pass across to Russ Maxwell, who made no mistake, outwaiting Huskie keeper Jordan Cooke for his first of the season.
However, just over six minutes later the Huskies would regain their two goal lead. Parker Tkatch, breaking in on the left wing snapped a shot over Hughson’s shoulder just past the midway mark.
After weathering a Huskies storm, Connor Sanvido brought the Pronghorns back to within one and Pronghorn fans to their feet with a highlight reel goal. Sanvido slipped the puck through his feet to beat both Huskie defenders and roofed a shot past Cooke.
Despite a scoreless period in the third, it wasn’t without chances for the Pronghorns to tie the game. Dalton Sward and Mitch Maxwell had short-handed breakaways, but could not beat Cooke. Sward missed wide and Cooke stoned Maxwell on two separate breakaways including one in the final two minutes.
The Huskies outshot the Pronghorns 40 to 21, and neither team was able to score on the power play, the Huskies missed on six opportunities, while the Pronghorns were unable to capitalize on four chances.
The Pronghorns and Huskies wrap up the season series tomorrow night at Nicholas Sheran Arena, the puck drops at 7:00pm.
Saskatchewan 95 @ MacEwan 39
The bookends weren’t so bad for the MacEwan Griffins as they were only 14 combined points worse than the visiting Saskatchewan Huskies in the first and fourth quarters.
The middle of the sandwich, however …
It was clearly of the knuckle-sandwich variety.
The Saskatchewan Huskies scored a knockout during the meat of the game, outscoring MacEwan 58-16 in the second and third quarters combined, en route to a breezy 95-39 victory in Canada West women’s basketball action on Friday night.
Along the way, the No. 6-ranked team in U Sports forced 30 turnovers, shot 12-for-24 from the three-point line and put four shooters in double digits, not including leading scorer Summer Masikewich.
In improving to 10-1 on the season, Saskatchewan exhibited few, if any, weaknesses and just might have been the strongest team the Griffins have faced this season.
“They have five players on the floor that can hurt you at any time,” said Griffins head coach Katherine Adams, whose team double-teamed Canadian National Junior team member Masikewich only to get killed by others. “You try to take away one threat and they capitalize and find the next. It’s tough because you have to guard all five players on the floor and pick your poison of where you want to get beat.
“You hope to contest and make them take tough shots and I don’t think we did a great job of that tonight. They found kick outs and extra passes and we struggled to rotate and get there in time. They shot 12 for 24 from the three-point line. That’s tough.”
Sabine Dukate had three of those, en route to 15 points, while Megan Lindquist (15 points), Libby Epoch (12 points) and Maya Olynyk (six points) each drained two treys. Megan Ahlstrom (12 points) was among three others who hit from behind the arc. Epoch and Dukate had five steals each.
Masikewich, who led the Huskies with 16.4 points a game coming into the contest, was held to just eight points, but it didn’t matter.
“We’re really trying to work at sharing the ball and just have multiple weapons out there,” said Huskies head coach Lisa Thomaidis. “I thought we did a better job of moving it, not sticking in people’s hands too long and then working on our transition. Some of those things kind of came together for us tonight.
“Defensively, I thought we had good effort at the defensive end and caused a lot of turnovers.”
As the Griffins drove the lane, they consistently ran into a brick wall in the middle of the court – any number of Saskatchewan’s seven players who are 6-foot or taller got a hand on passes or just took the space away.
Perhaps the Huskies watched tape of how MacEwan upset No. 1-ranked U SPORTS team Regina last season. They took nothing for granted on the defensive end of the ball, never letting up in holding the Griffins to 25.6 per cent shooting in the contest, including a 14.3 per cent stretch in the third quarter.
“We have some length and we have some mobile length and that certainly impacts the game. We knew MacEwan was going to play hard,” said Thomaidis. “They’ve kept it very close with a lot of very good teams, so we certainly respect them and what they’re able to do. They have some perimeter players who can cause you some problems when they get into the paint, so we (just wanted) to keep them contained and not let them get to the rim.”
Paige Knull had the most success for the Griffins, putting up 15 points, while Kerilynn MacLennan chipped in nine. Kayla Ivicak, averaging 15.2 points per game coming in, was held to just four and was tagged for a game-high six turnovers.
If there was a positive for MacEwan to draw upon, it was late in the game. With her team trailing by 50 and Knull fouled out, Adams put an all-rookie lineup on the floor. Darian Mahmi, Hannah Gibb, Madison Chamberlin, Mackenzie Farmer and Shannon Majeau finished the game and admirably put together MacEwan’s most intense stretch of the contest.
“That’s what I love about this group is they aren’t afraid to battle, they aren’t afraid to fight every night,” said Adams. “When you’re down by 50 … there’s no fear of making mistakes. It becomes an opportunity for growth. We need those kids down the road, so let’s get better.”
MacEwan falls to 3-8 with the defeat. The teams will meet again on Saturday (5 p.m., Atkinson Gym, Canada West TV).
Regina 2 @ Saskatchewan 3
The University of Saskatchewan Huskies opened the second half of the 2017-18 Canada West women’s volleyball season with a five-set win (19-25, 25-20, 25-23, 16-25, 15-10) over the University of Regina Cougars Friday night on Ron & Jane Centre Court at the PAC.
Dropping the first and fourth sets, the Huskies were able to hold off a Regina bid for a comeback in the deciding set for the win. The Huskies built an 11-4 lead in the fifth. But Regina went on a 6-2 run midway through the set on the strength of two Ashlee Sandiford kills and a Brooklyn Reynolds ace to pull within two. A Cougars’ attack error, followed by kills by Georgia Hurry and Emily Koshinsky sealed the 15-10 win for the Huskies.
With the win, the Huskies improve to 7-6. Regina drops to 5-8.
Koshinsky led Saskatchewan in the victory with a match high in kills at 16 and digs at 20. Hurry recorded another 10 kills for Saskatchewan, while Taylor Annala added nine. Shea Beaulieu also recoded 15 digs.
For the Cougars, Sandiford recorded a team-high 12 kills and nine digs, while third-year Haley Wagar chipped in with ten kills. Satori Togawa recorded a team-best 16 digs.
The Cougars took an opening 10-2 lead in the opening set for breathing room in the 25-20 win, despite a late Huskie rally. In the second set, Saskatchewan took control after four straight points would force a Cougar timeout at 20-14. Regina held the Huskies at set point twice before Saskatchewan evened the match with the 25-20 win.
Down 20-18 late in the third set, the Cougars went on a 5-1 run to lead 23-21. However, the Huskie stole four straight points to close the set 25-23 by capitalizing on Regina errors and a Mackenzie Pek ace.
The fourth set saw Regina earn a 12-2 lead to start and the Cougars protected the lead to a 25-16 win.
The teams meet again on Saturday night. First serve is at 6 p.m.