Kayla Kievits, Cougars Athletics
CALGARY – UBC Thunderbirds clean sweep the weekend versus the MRU Cougars. After a strong showing on Kenyon Court Dec. 1, 2017, the Thunderbirds were able to carry the momentum into the second match on Dec. 2, 2017. The Thunderbirds took the match in three sets both nights. The final scores of the second match sets were 25-22, 21-25 and 25-21.
Thunderbirds Irvan Brar led the team in attacks with a total of 14 of the teams 39 kills. The Cougars leading attacker was Tyler Schmidt with a total of 12 out of the total 31. Thunderbirds Byron Keturakis stood out in the serving department with a total of three aces throughout the match.
Rolling off yesterday's sweep the Thunderbirds were off to a strong start in the first set. Following in the footsteps of yesterday's match they took the early lead over the Cougars. With multiple attacks from Thunderbirds Irvan Brar, the Cougars were forced to call a timeout when they fell behind 5-8. Following the timeout the Cougars were caught on technical errors such as missed serves and on the net calls, allowing the Thunderbirds to maintain their lead. Going into the technical timeout the Thunderbirds led 16-10. The Cougars came back fighting from the technical timeout. Cougars' libero Jonathan Phillips was picking up the Thunderbirds attacks, giving the Cougars a chance to close the gap. The Thunderbirds called a timeout when the Cougars were back within one-point 21-22. Although they pushed back, the Cougars were unable to reach the finish line. The Thunderbirds took the set on two final attacks from Brar, for a final score of 25-22.
The Cougars came out of the gates slow once again in the second set. With the Thunderbirds gaining a five-point lead right off the bat the Cougars called a timeout as they fell behind 1-6. It was Cougars Quinn Bromley that brought the Cougars back into the game going on a three-point serving streak, one of which was an ace. At the technical timeout, the Thunderbirds remained in the lead 16-13. Coming out of the timeout Cougars Tyler Schmidt put out a kill from the right side, gaining back control of the serve. Three missed serves followed the kill. The Thunderbirds called a timeout when the Cougars snuck back into the game only down 19-21. Ultimately the Cougars were unable to get back the five points they gave up at the start of the set, and the Thunderbirds won 25-21.
Going into the third the Cougars picked up their game. For the first time the set went back and forth between the two teams, neither able to break away with a lead. Both teams struggled to find the court when serving, with multiple balls flying out the back. Once again Cougars libero Phillips stood out, picking up the Thunderbirds attacks. The Thunderbirds found a groove and were able to pull ahead leading 16-11 at the technical timeout. No different than the other sets, once the Thunderbirds gained a lead, they rolled with it. Their offence was strong, forcing the Cougars to call a timeout at 20-16. The Thunderbirds won the set on a middle kill from Jordan Deshane with a final score of 25-21. The win also sealed the match for the Thunderbirds, giving them the undefeated title this weekend.
The Cougars will take a break as we enter the holiday season, returning to Kenyon Court on Jan. 5, 2018 for their next game. The Cougars will take on Thompson Rivers University at 6 p.m. The Cougars are looking to ring in the new year with a win on home court.