The Rustlers men's volleyball team suffered their first losses of the season this past weekend to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) Ooks.
Friday evening's game was in Edmonton, and the Rustlers would fall to the Ooks 3 sets to 1 (20-25, 27-29, 25-23, 25-21).
The Rustlers competed with the Ooks very well but could not seem to get ahead. The Rustlers came very close to beating the Ooks in the second set but lost 27-29. A slow start for the Rustlers resulted in a two-set deficit heading into the third.
With the game on the line, the Rustlers came out swinging in the third set, and it paid off. The Rustlers would win the third set 25-23 forcing a fourth set.
In the fourth, the Rustlers went down 12-3 due to an impressive serving run by the Ooks. The Rustlers would make a comeback bring the score within 2 from some solid defensive play but would ultimately lose the fourth set 25-21, making it their first regular-season loss.
On Saturday in Lloydminster, the Rustlers-Ooks matchup would be an exciting one for all to watch. The game went to a fifth set in which the Ooks defeated the Rustlers 16-14.
The Rustlers had a strong start in the match, possibly fuelled by Friday night's loss. The Rustlers would win the first set handily 25-20.
In the second set, the Ooks would retaliate and take the set 25-20 over the Rustlers. The Rustlers would be victorious in the third set once again, 25-21, putting them up 2 sets to 1.
Heading into the fourth set, the Rustlers had a chance to seal the deal, however, a break down on serve receive would allow the Ooks to run away with the set, winning 25-10 and forcing a fifth and final set.
In the deciding set, the Rustlers and the Ooks would trade nearly point for point, resulting in a tie at 14-14. A missed serve by the Rustlers at 14-14 would allow the Ooks to go up 15-14 and have match point.
Ultimately, the Ooks overpowered the Rustlers in the final play of the game and won the final set in a nail-biting manner, 16-14. The final points of the match had nearly every person in the crowd on their feet.
Player of the game for the Rustlers was Ryan van Oosterwijck with 7 kills, 1 service ace, and a team-high 11 digs. Fourth-year outside Matt Peck added 13 kills, 1 service ace, and 9 digs.
The Rustlers volleyball teams are heading to Fort McMurray next weekend to play the Keyano College Huskies. You can watch the games live on acactv.ca.
The next home game for the Rustlers men's volleyball team will be the following weekend on Saturday, November 16th at 8 pm, following the women's game.