CALGARY, ALTA., (Dec. 1, 2018) — The SAIT Trojans men's volleyball team had to fight hard in their last game of 2018.
The Trojans dealt with a winless, but very hungry and scrappy Olds College Broncos team Saturday night, beating them 3-1 (13-25, 25-21, 25-19, 27-25) in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) fall semester finale at SAIT's Campus Centre.
"They were playing really good defense, and then they combined that with some strong passing tonight. They played a heck of a match," said Trojans head coach Sean McKay about the Broncos. "I don't think we were where we needed to be, but hats off to Olds, they played great."
SAIT finishes the first half of the season at 10-4. Olds falls to 0-14.
"I think we're starting to get where we need to be, but there is still a lot of season left, so this break is very much needed," McKay said about his first half as a whole. "I think the boys are on the right track, and if they stay faithful to the system we will be just fine."
In the first set, Olds got out to a great start. Once they had momentum under their belt, they dominated.
McKay, who gave an opportunity to some players who have not seen the court as much as others, stuck with his lineup despite the poor start.
"It wasn't a matter of putting starters on or not starters, it was a matter of the guys on the floor figuring it out," he explained. "I don't think any big switches in that first set would have changed anything. The biggest thing was guys realizing that the game wasn't going to be won or lost on one point."
After that set, SAIT turned things around despite seemingly playing an away game thanks to a very raucous Olds College crowd who made the trip to Calgary for the game.
Up 2-1 in the match, SAIT struggled to close out the Broncos. Olds led 14-10 at one point, but the home side was able to rebound and go on a 10-4 run to win the race to 20.
Up 23-20 in the final set, the Trojans watched as Olds clawed their way back to tie the match at 25-25.
SAIT finished things off when setter Alex Lyndon (1st year, Sydney, Australia, Information Technology) took advantage of an overpass by the Broncos with a rare kill to go up 26-25.
Olds College's Thundersky Walkingbear, who posted a game-high 16 kills in the match, then fired a kill attempt long and out of bounds to seal the win for the Trojans.
Lyndon finished with 33 assists, while teammate Tyler Latu'ila (4th year, Auckland, New Zealand, Business Administration) added 13 kills and four service aces.
The Trojans will resume their ACAC regular season schedule on Jan. 11 and 12 when they meet the Ambrose University Lions.