Griffins battle hard but fall in straight-sets to homestanding Cougars

Zoe Cronin digs a ball during Friday's match at Regina (Arthur Images).
Zoe Cronin digs a ball during Friday's match at Regina (Arthur Images).

MacEwan Athletics and Regina Athletics

REGINA, Sask. – University of Regina outside hitters Jessica Lerminiaux and Ashlee Sandiford proved to be too much for the MacEwan Griffins in a three-set Canada West women's volleyball loss on Friday night.

Lerminiaux and Sandiford combined for 33 kills for the Cougars, one more than MacEwan totaled as a team. Lerminiaux finished with 16 kills and a match-high .333 hitting percentage, while Sandiford led all players with 17 kills and also hit .311 in the win.

"Ashlee and Jessica were both outstanding tonight and were really the driving force behind our win," Cougars head coach Melanie Sanford said. "We also got some great defence from Taylor (Ungar) and for Satomi (Togawa) to finish with 44 assists is impressive in a three-set match."

MacEwan was led by Lauren Holmes, who finished with a team-high 10 kills and added 11 digs for the Griffins.

"They're a good team and we battled very well," said MacEwan head coach Ken Briggs. "We know there are little things we can change to push it to four or five and then you never know.

"We out-blocked them and we served fairly effectively. I thought we put them into trouble. They just have more weapons offensively.

"I thought defensively we got stronger as the match went on. As soon as we trusted the system, we prepared for them. I thought we took care of their middles fairly well, but they have two outstanding left sides that put the ball away when they needed it.

"It was a good fight. It wasn't a 3-0 game. I certainly don't feel like I did last weekend."

The Cougars opened the match with 25-19 and 25-14 wins in the first two sets, but the third set was the most hotly contested of the night. It featured 10 tie scores and four lead changes, and the two teams had four unsuccessful attempts at set point – three by Regina, one by MacEwan – before the Cougars finally converted their fourth attempt at match point thanks to a wide hit by the Griffins.

"They just have more weapons than us, which is what I expected," said Briggs. "We played a lot better than we did last weekend. We still give up little runs that we shouldn't."

The win improves Regina's record to 11-8 on the season as the Cougars have now won five consecutive matches. MacEwan falls to 8-9.

The two teams will meet again on Saturday night (6 p.m. MT, Canada West TV).