Preview: Men’s volleyball faces Cougars

The men’s volleyball team will need to play tough if they want to see the playoffs.

The men’s volleyball team will need to play tough if they want to see the playoffs.

The Huskies men’s volleyball team will look to secure their playoff berth this weekend when they face the Mount Royal University Cougars in the final two matches of the regular season.

Currently tied for fifth place in the Canada West standings, and with the top seven teams moving on to the postseason, the Dogs are looking good to advance to the next stage. But they’ll have to put in a strong performance this weekend as there are four teams that trail the Huskies by only two points — including their weekend foe.

The Huskies have had an up-and-down season but have won six of their last seven games to finish on an upswing. If the Dogs can continue their fine form, the team should advance — and a weekend sweep would assure the Huskies of a spot in the next stage.

The Cougars are tied for seventh in the standings with a 9-11 record and have lost three of their last four matches. The Cougars will need to win both matches this weekend if they want a shot at making the playoffs.

The two teams are even across most statistics, so the matches may come down to who can play the key points better. This weekend will be the first meeting between the teams this season while the Huskies won both matches during the 2012-13 season.

Playing at home should give the Dogs a slight edge. The Huskies have an even 5-5 record both at home and away while the Cougars are only 3-6 on the road.

Paul Thomson, Bryan Fraser and Jordan Nowakowski will look to lead the Dogs offensively while libero Matthew Erickson should frustrate the Cougars defensively.

Colton Deman is the big hitter for the Cougars, averaging four kills a set followed by fellow outside hitters Jordan Parkin and Riley Friesen. Averaging 2.5 per set, libero Jordan Or leads the team in digs and is inside the top 10 in the country at number 8.

First serve is at 8:00 p.m. on Feb. 7 and 8 in the Physical Activity Complex.


Photo: Jordan Dumba/Photo Editor