DAVID LARKINS, Winnipeg Wesmen
The Winnipeg Wesmen showed flashes of the team they think they can be on Saturday night, and it amounted to an upset of one of the hottest team's in the country.
The Wesmen men's volleyball team hit a season-high .268 and generated 12 total blocks, a season-high for a three-set match, in upsetting the No. 2-ranked Mount Royal Cougars 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-15) at the Duckworth Centre.
Winnipeg moved to 3-5 on the season with its first win over a ranked opponent this season.
Setter Mikael Clegg had four solo blocks and three block assists for a Wesmen team that served tough and blocked even better. As an example, the Wesmen were also able to slow Tyler Schmidt, the nation's leader in kills, who was held to just eight kills on 25 swings with five errors. It was the first time this season Schmidt has been held to less than 10 kills as the Cougars were held to a season-low .064 attacking.
"I think we just blocked a little bit more with confidence tonight instead of just really putting up our hands," Clegg said. "We really went out and thought we would block the ball and that's what happened."
As a team, the Wesmen had just 10 attack errors on 82 swings.
"Winnipeg did a tremendous job of putting us on our heels," MRU head coach Shawn Sky said. "They won the serve-pass game tonight, and most nights if you win the serve-pass game, you're going to win.
"... A match like this is a great learning tool. You have a look at it, it helps strengthen you, but at the same time, we made some real uncharacteristic plays. Our out-of-system second contact, which we pride ourselves in, was weak for us."
Luis Lange and Trent Mounter both had five kills for the Cougars, while Jonathan Phillips had a match-high 10 digs.