Cobequid takes 4-1 cushion into second leg of regional final against Royals today
Cougars have the lead
TRURO - The Cobequid Cougars have the upper hand on the Dr. John Hugh Gillis Royals in their Northumberland Region boys volleyball championship.
That's how they hope it stays today in the second leg of the match at the Antigonish school.
The Cougars are fresh on the heels of a 4-1 victory over the Royals yesterday at CEC and need to win just two of a possible six sets today to seal the title and earn a berth at provincials Dec. 4 and 5.
"We only need two but that's not easy," said Cougars head coach Harvey MacEachern.
MacEachern said the Gillis gym is a tough place to play. Its smaller confines and boisterous crowds create an atmosphere that can knock any team off its game.
So MacEachern said it will be important for the Cougars to get off to a good start early on.
"We want to go in there and win the first two, or take two out of three," he said. "If it goes past that it might be more
But MacEachern said he feels he's got a team capable of doing just that.
"We have a team that's capable of beating any team in the province," he said.
But MacEachern also said the Cougars have not played that way all season and can be unpredictable at times.
"I hope I see a team that's ready to go and work hard at defence and blocking," he said.
That will be key to the Cougars holding their momentum.
"We need to serve tough and dig the balls and minimize our own errors," he said. "Those will be the key elements."
That's what the Cougars did Tuesday.
The Cougars were on their heels in the first set, falling 23-25. But then Cobequid took over, winning the next four sets 25-12, 25-20, 25-17, 25-16.
Grade 11 middle Ben Fraser collected 21 kills and added two aces, three assists and a block while Grade 10 leftside Kristen O'Brien made 15 kills and two aces. Evan Maynard made 16 digs and backup libero Kyle Kaiser was excellent in getting the start.
It was the first time the Cougars had met the Royals this season. The two sides had seen each other at tournaments, but until Tuesday, had never done battle.
"They had a little more of an experienced squad out there (yesterday) than we had seen before," MacEachern said. "We were a little surprised in the beginning."