An exciting exhibition of volleyball took place over the weekend as the NAIT Ooks hosted the Keyano Huskies. The ladies rebounded from a tough five set loss (25-17, 23-25, 24-26, 25-12, 9-15) to win 3-1 on Saturday, while the men prevailed in four before just falling short in a comeback bid from being down 2-0 in a 3-2 loss. With the split, the women are now 4-6 and remain in fifth place, while the men are 6-4 remain in fourth.
The ladies started Friday on fire, serving aggressively and getting offence from Joslyn Peters on every play in transition. Keyano switched their lineup however and turned the momentum of the match. NAIT rebounded expertly in the fourth, but it almost seemed like the Huskies lured them into a trap as Keyano stormed to take the fifth. Candace Hughes won Player of the Game with 14 kills and 12 digs while Joslyn Peters had a match high 20 kills.
The men utilized almost every player on their roster in an exciting match vs the Huskies. Keyano started the opening set slow but gradually fought their way to the 29-27 win. NAIT fell behind in the second before rallying to steal the set 25-23 and hang onto that momentum in the third, 25-22. It looked like the Ooks would ride out through the fourth, but the Huskies came alive, with a couple of big plays from middle blocker Kornel Kowalewski. However, the lineup switching by the Ooks paid off as the home team took the set, 27-25. Cale Whiston was the POG with eight kills and a block while Justin Knight had a team high 12 kills.
NAIT’s v-ball ladies struggled early the following afternoon, unable to string together solid serve receive rotations, losing 24-26. However, Tiffany Evans added some timely attacks off the bench and Peters came alive offensively as the Ooks took the next two sets, 25-17 and 25-19. The Huskies battled back in the fourth from four match points down at 20-24, but Peters finally ended the match for the Ooks.
The men had an even worse start, losing by their largest margin of the season, 11-25. While the next set was slightly better, the Ooks still struggled with the Huskies serving, set score being home team at 28-26. Peters finished with 14 kills as the Ooks POG. 17-25. IN the third, the home team finally found some life, battling from behind to win 25-23. This momentum continued into the fourth, as right side Teador Kostelnik constantly fired up his teammates in a 25-20 win. The Huskies made adjustments and turned the tables, going up 11-5 in the fifth. The Ooks began to battle back, cutting the deficit to one, but Huskies converted on their third match point for 1 3-15 Ooks loss. Kostelnik led the Ooks with 13 kills for the POG award.
Next up, a date with the Concordia Thunder. Both CUC squads are 0-10, but aren’t to be taken lightly as they desperately want to end the first semester on a high note. The women kick things off at 6 p.m. on Friday at Concordia and at the same time Saturday at NAIT. NAIT’s men’s team will take the court at 8 p.m. or 30 minutes after the women’s match is completed.