The Lakeland Rustlers women's volleyball team improved to 16-2 over the weekend with two wins against the Keyano Huskies in Fort McMurray.
The Rustlers didn't show any signs of tired legs Friday night, despite a long day of travel to Fort McMurray. The teams went back and forth early on in the first set, with the two teams tying at 6 and 9. The Rustlers would go on to take a 16-12 lead thanks to strong serving, on the way to winning the set 25-18. In the second set, Lakeland jumped out to a quick lead, thanks to strong serving once again. The Rustlers extended their lead to as many as 8, before allowing the Huskies back in.
The Huskies were able to cut the Rustlers lead to 1 at 20-19 but were not able to get any closer as the Rustlers hung on to win the second set 25-22. The Rustlers dominated the third set from the opening serve, showing why they are one of the best teams in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) and Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). The Rustlers won the third set 25-13 and the match 3-0.
The Rustlers were led by fifth-year outside hitters Shelby Becker and Ahnika Kuse, who finished with 10 kills, 8 digs, and 8 kills, 5 digs respectively. Showing why she was a CCAA All Canadian selection last season, fifth-year setter Rae Sigurdson finished the match with 35 assists, 3 service aces, 2 kills, 2 blocks, and 1 dig.
Saturday afternoon, the Rustlers came out picking up where they left off Friday night, jumping out to a quick 7-2 lead. Lakeland maintained the lead for the first part of the set, but Keyano clawed their way back, tying the score at 17. The Huskies would then outscore the Rustlers 8-1, handing the Rustlers a 25-18 loss in the opening set. The Rustlers wouldn't let the first set loss get them down, as Lakeland responded in the second set. The two teams were close early on, but the Rustlers opened up an 11-7 lead and never looked back, on the way to the 25-14 win.
The Rustlers carried the momentum from their win in the second set into the third, opening up a quick 10-4 lead. The Huskies never had a chance in the set, with the Rustlers winning 25-15. The Huskies came out fighting in the fourth set, taking a 9-2 lead. The Rustlers fought their way back, outscoring the Huskies 23-9, taking the set 25-18, and the match 3-1.
The Rustlers were led by the fifth-year trio of Becker, Kuse, and Sigurdson. Kuse led the way with 14 kills and 9 digs, while Becker added 9 kills and 21 digs, and Sigurdson had 37 assists. Player of the Game for the Rustlers was third-year setter Bailee Weiler, who finished the match with 7 kills and 6 digs.
The Rustlers return home next weekend to take on the Grande Prairie Wolves (6-10). Action gets underway at 6 pm Friday night, with the rematch set for 1 pm Saturday.