CALGARY, ALTA., (Oct. 4, 2018) — After a bit of a slow start, the SAIT Trojans men's volleyball team got things going in the right direction.
The Trojans opened their 2018/19 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) season at home on Thursday night with a victory, beating crosstown rival Ambrose University 3-1 (20-25, 25-21, 25-16, 25-15) at SAIT's Campus Centre.
"We were a little sloppy coming into the game; some guys looked to be a little nervous out there," said veteran setter, Nathan Goss (5th year, Cochrane, Alta., Business Administration). "When it comes down to it, we can't take any team for granted because we play in a good league. But hey, we turned it around thanks to the leadership on this team and got the job done."
SAIT moves to 1-0 on the season, while Ambrose falls to 0-1.
"It's nice to just ease into the season with the one game, and getting the 'W' was even more nice," Goss added.
After dropping Set 1, the Trojans' body language told the story of a team whose errors dug them an early hole.
Set 2 had Trojans fans a bit worried, as the teams traded leads for the first half of the set. SAIT however, was able to pull away at the end and tie the match up.
The win seemed to spark the Trojans, who then cruised to lopsided wins in Sets 3 and 4 to seal the victory in front of a loud home crowd.
Leading the way for the Trojans was the very big Brennen Willis (3rd year, Cochrane, Alta., Welding Engineering Technology). At 6-foot-11, the team's new middle wreaked havoc at the net on both sides of the ball, recording nine kills and five blocks.
The transfer from Mount Royal University impressed Goss in his first regular season game in Trojans silks.
"Being as big as he is, he brings such a huge part to our offense," Goss explained. "He's a really hard guy to stop; you can pretty much feed him anywhere. That really opens things up on the outsides for our guys."
Fellow newcomer Jarett Noel (2nd year, Calgary, Geographic Information Systems) led the Trojans with 14 kills, while Goss himself had 35 assists and four service aces.
Brodie Juul-Hansen paced the Lions with eight kills.
The Trojans will return to action on Oct. 12 and 13 when they play hosts to the Briercrest College Clippers for a pair of home games inside SAIT's Campus Centre.