The Lakeland Rustlers women's volleyball team faced the NAIT Ooks over the weekend in what would be the final games of the regular season for both teams.
Lakeland traveled to Edmonton Friday for the first game of the weekend series. The Ooks defeated the Rustlers in 3 sets (18-25, 25-27, 17-25), with Lakeland playing much of their bench for the game. The Ooks came out strong in the first set, winning easily 25-18. The Rustlers bounced back in the second set and pushed the Ooks, but ultimately ended up on the wrong end of a 27-25 set. In the third set, the Ooks would earn the win for the night, with a 25-17 set win.
The Rustlers were led by first-year outside hitter Kaylie Lueck with 7 kills and 9 digs, earning her player of the game. The Rustlers also got strong play from fourth-year middle Avery Maginel, who finished with 5 kills and 2 assists, and third-year setter Bailee Weiler, who finished with 2 kills, 6 digs, 3 service aces, and 11 assists.
Saturday night would be an emotional one in Lloydminster, as the Rustlers had three players who would be playing in their final game in the Lakeland gymnasium. The Rustlers three fifth-years, Rae Sigurdson, Ahnika Kuse, and Shelby Becker, showed how dominant they have been in the ACAC throughout their careers and their importance to the Rustlers team.
The teams got off to a slow start in the first set, going back and forth. Part way through the set, third-year libero Olivia Thomson served 7 straight points, helping the Rustlers to the 25-22 win. The Rustlers carried the momentum from the first set into the second. NAIT struggled to get their offense going, and the Rustlers took the set 25-19. In the third set, the Rustlers once again controlled the play, winning 25-18 and taking the match 3-0.
Players of the game for the Rustlers were fifth-year setter Rae Sigurdson, and fifth-year outside hitters, Ahnika Kuse, and Shelby Becker. Kuse finished the match with 13 kills, 11 digs, and a service ace, while Becker added 10 kills, 8 digs and 3 service aces. Sigurdson ran the Rustlers offense as she has been all season, finishing with 3 kills, 3 digs, and 39 assists.
The Rustlers finished the regular season with a 20-4 match record and 64-22 set record, good for 2nd in the ACAC North Division. Next up for the Rustlers is the ACAC Women's Volleyball Championships held from February 21-23 at Ambrose University in Calgary.