Cougars women’s volleyball makes unlikely silver medal run
By Gage Smith, Sports Editor
The Mount Royal University (MRU) Cougars women’s volleyball team made a Cinderella run in the U SPORTS Women’s Volleyball Championship, earning themselves a silver medal and making program history. MRU was cheered on by what was essentially a home crowd as the tournament was held at the University of Calgary’s Jack Simpson Gym.
Out of eight teams to make the championship tournament, MRU was seeded seventh, above only the University of Calgary Dinos. Despite the long odds, the Cougars would go on to defeat the favoured Brock University Badgers and the University of Alberta Pandas without dropping a single set in either game. The win against the Pandas was especially impressive because it was a bounceback for MRU as they lost to the Pandas 3-1 the week before.
The run would end in a hotly-contested gold medal game against the Trinity Western University (TWU) Spartans who were favoured to win the tournament. TWU took the first set in convincing fashion at 25-14, but MRU swung right back in the second with a 25-14 win of their own. The number one seed would seal the deal in sets three and four though, winning them 19-25 and 20-25 respectively.
Haley Roe and Madison Marshall were two of MRU’s leaders in the gold medal game. Roe contributed a game-high 15 kills and 12 digs and Marshall added nine kills, 12 digs and a block.
MRU’s unlikely run was recognized when U SPORTS was putting together its Championship All-Star Team; half of its members are Cougars (Haley Roe, Quinn Pelland and Savannah Purdy.)
This silver medal victory was Cougars women’s volleyball’s first-ever placement in a U SPORTS Championship, so to make it as far as they did is nothing short of outstanding. The future is bright for this young program.