Game recap by: Kirk Jessome
(Halifax, NS) – With the pre-season series tied up at one game apiece, the Saskatchewan Huskies faced off against the Dalhousie Tigers in the rubber match Sunday evening at the Dalplex. In another action-packed, five-set match, the Huskies came away with the win in the game, and the weekend series 2-1.
The match started with points being traded back and forth, neither team managing to string together a run, till the Tigers pulled ahead leading into the technical break 16-11. This charge continued after the timeout as the Tigers extended the lead to 24-13 in the set, thanks to kills from Matthew Donovan (London, ON) and the serving of Jeffrey Walton (Sudbury, ON).
The Huskies didn't let the deficit take them out of it as a string of errors from the Tigers and a timely kill from Troy Wiebe (Grande Prairie, AB) brought them within striking distance for the set and forced the Tigers to call a timeout and regroup.
It worked in the Tigers favour as the very next play out of the timeout resulted in the Tigers taking the set 25-17.
The second set was once again back and forth with kills coming from both teams and the score stayed tight till the technical timeout with the Huskies leading 16-13. The break seemed to energize the Huskies as they came out with two straight kills from Dylan Mortensen (Swift Current, SK) and only allowed three more points against in the entire set.
Matthew Meyer (Prince Albert, SK) picked up where he left off yesterday with plenty of kills coming in the set, as well as errors from the Tigers, allowed the Huskies to close out the set 25-16 and tie the match at 1-1.
Serving errors were proving costly for the Tigers early in the third set, as they were in a quick deficit from the start. Matthew Donovan continued to pick up kills, as well as Graham Schmuland (Calgary, AB) adding in important kills of his own.
On the other side, the Tigers couldn't seem to find an answer for Mortensen as he added another 5 kills to his total before the technical break with the Huskies leading 16-10.
The match picked up intensity with great rallies coming out of the break. Jeffrey Walton picked up a few key kills to energize the Tigers and bring them within striking distance, but needed a strong run in order to save the set.
Just as Donovan brought the Tigers over the 20-point mark, adding to his team-leading 16 kills, an emphatic kill from Mortensen sealed the set for the Huskies and gave them the lead in the match at 2-1.
The fourth set had an explosive offensive start with both teams trading kills from multiple different attackers. Accuracy seemed to be stressed from the coaches on the sidelines, as there were only two errors from either side in the first 22 total points of the set.
Play before the break was capped off by a fantastic drop serve from hitter Graham Schmuland and the Tigers took a 16-14 lead into the timeout.
A series of errors from the Huskies out of the break allowed the Tigers to jump to a sizable lead in the set and Schmuland once again ended play in the set, this time with a big kill as the Tigers forced a fifth set.
The Tigers struggled to find a rhythm to start the final set, as errors led to a quick three-point disadvantage. The Tigers battled back after a long rally filled with defensive plays led to a huge kill from Donovan.
The Tigers forced the Huskies to call a timeout late in the match, but Saskatchewan displayed some fine defensive plays when it mattered as they staved off the run by the Tigers and held on to a 15-11 victory in the set. Dylan Mortensen added one final kill to his game-high 25 to end it for the Huskies.
The Huskies came away with the 3-2 win in the match and took the weekend series 2-1 as well.
The Tigers are back in action October 27th for their regular season home-opener, while Saskatchewan will travel to Regina next Friday.