The Lakeland Rustlers returned to the court over the weekend after a long semester break. The Rustlers opened second-semester play on the road, taking on the Augustana Vikings in Camrose Thursday and Saturday nights.
Thursday night, the Rustlers lost to the Vikings in four sets (20-25, 14-25, 25-23, 19-25). The Rustlers kept the first set close, before the Vikings pulled away, taking the set 25-20. In the second set, the Vikings had the momentum, and the Rustlers struggled on both sides of the ball. The Vikings controlled the set, winning 25-14. In what was a must-win set for the Rustlers, Lakeland took the lead early in the third and held it for the entirety of the set. The Rustlers were able to take the third set, 25-23, forcing a fourth set. The Vikings held a steady lead for much of the fourth set, on the way to winning 25-19.
The Rustlers were led by third-year outside Alexei Walisser with 12 kills and three digs, while third-year libero Matt Peck added nine kills, 11 digs, and two blocks. Player of the Game for the Rustlers was third-year middle Tyler Williamson, with nine kills and five blocks.
Saturday night, the Rustlers played the Vikings close, in three, hard-fought sets, but could never come out on the winning end. The Rustlers pushed the Vikings in the first set, but the Vikings took it 25-23. In the second set, the Rustlers again challenged the Vikings, but made timely mistakes, losing 26-24. The Rustlers seemed to have all of the wind taken out of their sails in the third set, as the Vikings controlled from the first serve, on the way to the 25-19 win.
The Rustlers were led by third-year setter Jose Arellano, with 26 assists, one kill, and five digs, while Williamson added eight kills. Walisser was named Player of the Game for the Rustlers with 11 kills and five digs.
The Rustlers return to the court for their first home game of the semester Friday night at 8:00 pm, as they take on the Concordia Thunder. The Rustlers will then travel to Edmonton Saturday night for the rematch against the Thunder.