The Lakeland Rustlers Men's Volleyball team hit the court for their final games of the first semester over the weekend, taking on The University of Alberta – Augustana Vikings.
Friday night, the Rustlers and the Vikings took to the floor in Lloydminster. The two teams came out ready to play in the first set, going back and forth from the first serve. The teams would trade points for the early part of the set, before the Vikings took a 17-13 lead, forcing the Rustlers to call a timeout. The Rustlers responded out of the timeout, taking a 22-21 lead, forcing the Vikings to take a timeout of their own. The teams would then go back and forth for the final few points of the set before the Vikings would take it 26-24. The Vikings took control early on in the second set, forcing the Rustlers to play from behind. The Rustlers cut the Vikings lead to three at 16-13, but could not get any closer, as the Vikings would take the set 25-16. The Rustlers came out looking for a win in the third set. The Rustlers took the lead at 20-19, but could not maintain the lead, losing the set 25-21 and the match 3-0.
First-year outside Ryan van Oosterwijck led the Rustlers with eight kills, three digs, and a service ace. Van Oosterwijck saw his first ACAC action of the season, as the Rustlers had to do some last-minute lineup shuffling due to an injury to third year libero JC Funez. Third year setter Jose Arellano added 22 assists, six digs and two kills for the Rustlers.
Saturday night, the teams once again played in Lloydminster, as Augustana was unable to host any court sports over the weekend. The teams came out going back and forth in the first set until the Rustlers began to open up a lead midway through the set. The Rustlers stretched their lead to six at 22-16, and never looked back, taking the set 25-17. The Vikings bounced back in the second set, opening up a huge lead and controlling the play. The Rustlers were held to just 13 points in the set, as the Vikings took the second 25-13, tying the match at one set win apiece. The Rustlers stepped up their play in the third set and took the set 25-21. The script was flipped in the fourth set, the Vikings stepped up their play and dominated the set. The Vikings won the fourth set 25-15, forcing a fifth and final set. In the fifth set, the Rustlers came up with some huge blocks and great defense, helping them build an early lead. The Vikings never recovered, as the Rustlers won the set 15-6 and the match 3-2.
The Rustlers were led by third year outside Alexei Walisser with ten kills and six digs, while third year libero Matt Peck added seven kills and eight digs. Arellano had another strong game for the Rustlers, finishing the match with 27 assists, nine digs, two blocks, two services aces, and one kill. Player of the Game for the Rustlers was second year middle Evan Bonnamour with seven kills, seven digs, three service aces, and three blocks.
The Rustlers finished the first semester sitting in fourth place in the ACAC North Division with a 7-5 match record, and 24-23 set record. The Rustlers return to the court January 3rd when they head to Camrose to take on the Augustana Vikings.