The Lakeland Rustlers Men's Volleyball team hit the court over the weekend, taking on The King's University Eagles. The Rustlers were looking to continue on their early season success, showing much improvement from the past few seasons.
Friday night in Edmonton, the Eagles came out looking for their first win, while the Rustlers looked to add to their win total. The Rustlers were inconsistent in the first set, allowing the Eagles to gain control and momentum early on. The momentum helped propel the Eagles to a 25-17 win in the first set. The Rustlers struggled in the second set, while the Eagles still had the momentum. The Rustlers fell behind and could not recover, and the Eagles went on the win the second set 25-11. In what would be a must win set for the Rustlers, the Rustlers play improved in the third set. The Rustlers challenged the Eagles, but it wasn't the Rustlers night, as the Eagles took the set 25-22 and the match 3-0.
The Rustlers were led by second year outside Evan Bonnamour with five kills and one dig, while third year libero Matt Peck added six digs and four digs. Third year setter Jose Arellano had 16 assists to go along with six digs for the Rustlers, and third year libero JC Funez had 13 digs, earning him Player of the Game.
The Rustlers looked to respond from Friday's loss Saturday night in Lloydminster. The Rustlers came out strong early in the match and held the lead throughout the first set. There were many athletic plays made by both teams, but it was the Rustlers who would take the first set, 25-20. The teams went back and forth to start the second set, trading points early on. Rustlers third year outside Alexei Walisser had several big kills in the set, helping the Rustlers take the lead midway through the second set.
The Rustlers used those kills to help build momentum and get numerous big blocks, on way to winning the second set 25-16. The Eagles fell behind to start the third set, with the Rustlers maintaining momentum from their second set win. The built a large lead, but the Eagles cut into the Rustlers lead. In the end, the Rustlers had enough momentum to win the set 25-21, taking the match 3-0.
The Rustlers were led by third year outside Cole Sutherland with nine kills and four digs, and Walisser with eight kills, five blocks, four digs, and three service aces. Arellano was named Player of the Game for the Rustlers with 27 assists, three digs, and two blocks.
The Rustlers (6-4) return to the court next weekend as they take on the University of Alberta Augustana Vikings (6-4) in what will be the final games of the first semester for the Rustlers. Games Friday and Saturday will both be played in Lloydminster and are set to get underway at 8 pm.