Tanner Michalenko, Saskatchewan Sports Information Student Assistant
SASKATOON – 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.