The Lakeland Rustlers Men's volleyball regular season got underway over the weekend, with the Rustlers traveling to Grande Prairie to take on the Wolves.
There was lots of energy in the gym, with both teams playing their first game of the regular season. With a solid core of players returning from last year, the Rustlers were able to defeat the Wolves in three sets (25-18, 25-17, 30-28). The Rustlers were led by third year setter Jose Arellano with 13 assists, third year libero Jean Carlo Funez with ten digs and 3rd-year outside Alexei Walisser with nine kills.
Walisser was named Player of the Game for the Rustlers.
Saturday, the teams went back and forth in four, hard-fought sets. The Rustlers took the first set 25-23 and continued that momentum into the second set that they won 25-19. The Wolves would fight back in the third set and win 25-23, forcing a fourth set. The fourth set was another close battle, but in the end, the Rustlers won the set 25-22 and the match 3-1. The Rustlers were once again led by Walisser with 12 kills, Funez with 13 digs and Arellano with 22 assists. Third year middle Tyler Williamson added four blocks for the Rustlers.
Player of the Game for the Rustlers was Funez.
Arellano spoke about the weekend and the confidence that comes from two wins. "It was a really good way to start the season," Arellano said, "especially to get two wins on the road where we have really struggled. There is a group of us (Matt Peck, Jean Carlo Funez, Tyler Williamson) that have all played a lot of sets together now, so we are comfortable playing together."
The Rustlers play their first home game of the season Friday night at 8 pm against the NAIT Ooks. The Rustlers then hit the road Saturday and head to Edmonton for the rematch.