The Lakeland Rustlers men's volleyball team returned home over the weekend for a matchup against the Grande Prairie Wolves. After two losses on the road last weekend, the Rustlers looked to respond and back in the win column.
The two teams exchanged points to start the match Friday night before the Rustlers would go on a series of runs. The Rustlers were able to extend their lead to five points and keep it there, winning the first set 25-20. The teams continued to go back and forth to start the second set. Lakeland relied on their strong defensive, with big digs several players to help them build and maintain a lead once again.
The Rustlers took the second set 25-20. The Rustlers jumped out to a big lead to start the third set, but the Wolves fought back. In the end, the Rustlers early lead helped them, as they would hold on to win the set 25-22, taking the match 3-0.
The Rustlers were led by third-year libero Matt Peck, who finished the match with 13 kills and 7 digs, earning him player of the game. Third-year outside Alexei Walisser added 9 kills and 8 digs for the Rustlers, while third-year setter Jose Arellano ran the offense and finished the match with 30 assists and 7 digs.
Lakeland came out strong to start the match on Saturday, controlling the first set in its entirety. The Rustlers were strong offensively, with 11 kills in the first set, on the way to a 25-19 win. It would be the Rustlers defense that helped them in the second set, as Lakeland held Grande Prairie to just six kills in the set. The Rustlers would take the second set, winning 25-18.
The teams went back and forth in the third set, with neither team wanting to lose. There were numerous lead changes, with neither team giving the other any breathing room. In the end, it was the Wolves who would score consecutive points when it mattered most, taking the set 31-29. In the fourth set, the Rustlers would regain control and end the match, taking the set 25-20, and the match 3-1.
The Rustlers were led by Walisser with 14 kills, 11 digs, 8 service aces, and 2 blocks, earning him player of the game. The Rustlers also got strong play from 3rd year outside Cole Sutherland who finished with 4 kills, 10 digs, 2 service aces, and 1 block.
The Rustlers now sit at 11-9, good for 4th in the ACAC North Division with four games remaining in the regular season.
The Rustlers return to the court Friday when they host The King's University Eagles. The match is set to get underway at 8 pm.