Huskies Settle For Split In Battle For North Division

It was a rollercoaster weekend for the Keyano Huskies men’s volleyball squad.

The Husky men played host to NAIT Ooks over the weekend – with first place in the ACAC North Division on the line.

Coming into the doubleheader, Keyano (16-4) was coming off a tough straight-sets loss to Kings University last weekend.

The boys fought valiantly in Friday’s match but ultimately fell to the nation’s 11th ranked team in five sets (25-21, 25-21, 25-21,15-6.)

Saturday was a different story – as the Huskies flipped the script in a dominating straight-sets win.

“I think NAIT’s kind of figured out who they are and what they are about, and I think we are still figuring that out,” said Head Coach Keegan Kuhr. “If someone was to tell me at the beginning of the season that after losing eight guys, we’d be 16-4 with four games left – I’d be ecstatic.”

While the win had no bearing on the standings, it was a victory of perseverance for the Huskies, who’d been bested by NAIT in three straight matches coming into Saturday.

Kuhr feels it was a character win.

“You know, I don’t really care how we got here but the way the guys played today, they played together. There wasn’t much I had to do, which is so important. That just shows the growth and maturity of these guys as you see it game by game.”

The Huskies have one more doubleheader on homecourt to wrap up the regular season when they see a visit from the Augustana Vikings in a couple of weeks.

But first, they’ll set their sets on their final road trip of the year as they head to Concordia this weekend.

Kuhr says he’s optimistic they’ll close things out on a high note.

“I think we found a good mix this weekend. We’ve kind of been looking for an identity for a while and this was a good step forward to finding our identity. Our goal is to just recreate that for the next four games and then head down to Lethbridge with the same mentality.”

With the split, Keyano remains second in the division.

You can stream the Huskies match with Concordia this Friday at 8 p.m., on the ACAC’s website.

Coach Kira Sutcliffe tells her team to keep their cool during a timeout on Saturday. Photo by: Brandon Piper

Four Straight Losses Dwindles Playoff Hopes For Huskies’ Women’s Squad

With a playoff spot still within reach – the Keyano Huskies women’s volleyball team couldn’t capitalize against the women’s team from NAIT.

Like their male counterparts, the Huskies (5-15) fell in a heartbreaker on Friday losing in a five-set marathon (25-19, 25-23, 25-13, 25-10,15-12).

The pattern continued into Saturday in a tight four-set battle (25-17, 27-25, 25-21, 25-20).

Head Coach Kira Sutcliffe tells Mix News there were some ups and downs through the meetings.

“I thought our serving game wasn’t as good as it normally is which kind of cost us a few points near the ends of sets and I thought we stepped it up today on our left side which we struggled with on Friday. Overall, it’s the end of the season, you can tell there’s some soreness and tiredness, but I think we’ll go into next weekend fired up to get a win.”

Despite four straight losses, there is an outside chance Keyano can clinch the final playoff spot in the ACAC North Division.

However, Sutcliffe says they need all the help they can get in making that happen.

“We’re on life support but we might. It’s basically just ‘see what the rest of the league does.’ We’re not really focused on playoffs at this point, so, just trying to focus our own side of the court.”

While the postseason might be a moot point, Sutcliffe is very confident in the potential this team possesses.

“The big thing with my team is we are really young. Having that experience in first- and second years getting court time and having most of them come back next year will be good. And they’re always pushing each other to improve which can be difficult for younger players. It’s difficult to be vocal and I’m really happy with how that’s come along.”

The Huskies will be back in action this weekend, as they trip to Concordia to take on a Thunder squad that has lost 12 straight games.

Their final doubleheader will be on February 21-22, when they host Augustana.

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