Royals volleyball unstoppable in home-and-away series

Royals volleyball unstoppable in home-and-away series

The women's team dominated in the home leg on Friday night, spreading the wealth around as nine players recorded a kill, with no individual scoring in double digits. The Bearcats were always close by, even leading by four points in the first set, but were never quite capable of controlling the play like the hosts. CBC primarily ran their offence through Megan Polant and Emma Conway, who scored 20 of the team's 28 kills between them. A few Royals attack errors gave the Bearcats a chance to get back into the opening set as the visitors found themselves down by just a point at 21-20, but the Royals scored four consecutive points, finishing off the first set with an Olivia Cesaretti kill to take a 1-0 lead.

The second set started close, with the Bearcats once again taking leads early on, but the Royals were more than capable of showing consistency while the Bearcats offence flourished only in short bursts. Halfway through the set, the Royals were up by five points, and would stretch their lead to six by the time the set was over.


The final set brought with it a brief scare for the home team, with CBC leading on the scoreboard and controlling the pace of play for the majority of the set. The Royals found themselves in a three-point hole early, battling back to close the gap to one but falling behind again with kills from Megan Polant. With the Royals down 21-17 and in danger of allowing the Bearcats a chance to come back from 2-0 down, Grace Warkentin scored a huge kill followed by an ace, and a team block from Jacey Neid and Avneet Shokar forced a CBC timeout. Megan Polant again scored a huge kill out of the timeout, but Abby Mitro provided three perfect sets, two to Neid and one to Sarah Watson to force another CBC timeout as the Royals finally regained the lead at 23-22. Another Neid kill and an ace from Julia Weiss gave the Royals the win. The Royals were incredibly efficient on offense, with players like Neid racking up 8 kills on just 11 attempts for a .727 hitting percentage and Watson going 5-for-6 for a .833.

In the away leg, the Royals crushed the first two sets, winning 25-13 and 25-17. The Bearcats fought hard to start the first set, but at 13-11, the Royals scored nine straight points to increase the lead to eleven, and never looked back. Similarly in the second set, the Royals and Bearcats were tied at nine before the Royals went on an 11-2 run.

The Bearcats found their offence in the third set, going on a five-point run early in the first and adding seven straight later on to open up a twelve-point advantage. The Royals narrowed the gap slightly but couldn't recover from the offensive outburst, losing 25-18. The fourth set was the closest of them all, as the game remained close up until the 18-18 mark, where the Royals pulled away as setter Abby Mitro sealed the win with her only kill of the game to go with 34 assists. Caet McCorkell impressed on both sides of the ball with 13 kills and 14 digs.

 


The Royals men's volleyball team looked just as dominant in their weekend games with the Bearcats. CBC didn't lead at any point of all three sets played in Friday's match, as the Royals consistently started sets strong and prevented the visitors from getting any sort of foothold in the contest. The opening set was the closest, as the teams were tied at 7 early on before a 13-5 run gave the hosts an eight-point advantage that they would not surrender.  

The Royals came out firing in the second set with nine consecutive points to start, thanks to kills from Max Haronga and Eric Sundmark as well as a Jared Collin ace. The Royals lead would only increase in the set as Haronga continued to dominate as they took the set 25-12 on a Reid Marriott ace.
The

final set saw some incredible serving from both sides as the two teams traded aces early on, but the Royals had already opened up a six-point lead thanks to more kills from Haronga and Sundmark. Marriott and Keatan Mann got involved with the kills as the Royals again added to their lead while providing no recourse to their opponents, as the Royals took the final set 25-14 in a major statement game. Haronga led with 13 kills while Marriott and Mann scored 9 and 6 respectively.

In the away leg, the hosting Bearcats put up a fight, but couldn't quite avoid their second straight sweep of the series. A seven-point run from the Royals in the first set allowed Douglas to pull away after the teams traded points to open the evening, and they wouldn't surrender the lead as they took the opening set 25-17 for the second night in a row. CBC led for much of the second after starting the set on a 5-0 run, but last led at 20-19 before a 6-2 run from the visitors put the Royals up 2-0 with aces from Haronga and Rajan Gill and kills from Mann and Sundmark.

The hosts again led for almost all of the third set, but there were no large leads like the Bearcats had in the second. Instead, the two sides traded kills, aces and errors, with CBC always managing to stay one or two points ahead of the Royals, barring a 4-1 run from the visitors to create a 3-point Douglas advantage that was quickly erased. But with both teams approaching the 25-point mark, kills from Gill, Haronga and Ben Shand led the Royals to once again pull away from the hosts, and the Royals defence forced a few errors to secure the 25-22 set win and the second consecutive sweep for Douglas. The Royals offence was distributed with 7 players notching at least one kill, with Haronga scoring a team-high eight. Jared Collin had 27 assists and 3 aces.