The Lakeland Rustlers lost both matches in their weekend match up against the Augustana Vikings. Friday night in Camrose, the Rustlers lost in 4 sets, while Saturday night in Lloydminster, the Rustlers lost in 5 hard fought sets.
The Rustlers lost to the Vikings in 4 sets (25-20, 19-25, 25-22, 26-24) in Camrose on Friday night. The Rustlers were led by first year outside Gavin Wourms with 13 kills and 11 digs. Third year outside Torin Johre added nine kills, and nine digs with 2nd-year setter Jose Areliano finished with 39 assists.
The Vikings defeated the Rustlers in 5 sets (28-30, 25-22, 20-25, 25-21,15-13) Saturday night in Lloydminster. The first set was back and forth, with the two teams trading points for much of the set. The Rustlers took a 20-19 lead late in the set, forcing the Vikings to call a timeout. The teams continued to trade points before the Rustlers won 30-28.
In the second set, the two teams continued their back and forth, evenly matched play. The two teams would trade points and battle back and forth, with the Vikings eventually winning 25-22. The Rustlers came out strong in the third set, taking an early lead. The Rustlers would build their lead to 12-8, with hard work and not giving up on the play. The Rustlers used the home crowd to their advantage to build momentum and take the set 25-20.
In the fourth set, the teams took turns taking the lead, with the Vikings taking a 14-12 lead midway through the set. The Rustlers would tie the score at 17, but the Vikings had strong play down the stretch, taking the set 25-21. The Vikings opened up a 5-3 lead to start the fifth set, but the Rustlers responded and took an 8-7 lead into the side switch. The teams would go back and forth for the rest of the set, with the Vikings coming out on top 15-13.
Player of the Game for the Rustlers was #11, Torin Johre.
Rustlers Head Coach Taylor Dyer saw both the good and the bad in his team on the weekend.
"We weren't very good in the first two sets Friday night," Dyer said. "We didn't follow the game plan or play well. We played really well in the third set and were up 22-19 in the fourth, but missed a crucial point and ended up losing instead of going to a fifth set. Saturday, we had some big digs defensively, which is what our game has to be since we are undersized. We have to capitalize on our chances, which we were able to do. Any time a team gets two points in a row late in a set, it is hard to come back from, so we just have to make sure we keep battling every single point."
The Rustlers finished the first semester with a 3-9 record. The team will have December off of league play for the Rustlers to focus on exams before returning to the court January 5th and 6th against the Concordia Thunder.
The Rustlers will travel to Edmonton on January 5th before returning home on January 6th with the match set to get underway at 8:00 pm.