Since returning from the semester break, the SAIT men’s volleyball team picked up where they left off in 2017 by adding to their win-streak and securing first place in their division of the ACAC.
The month of January was good to the Trojans, as they won all six of their matches to reach an impressive 11-game winning streak.
The boys in red put together a nice run and by the end of January, enjoyed a six-point cushion in the South Division of the ACAC.
“Every game we’re trying to improve on one or two things and the following games [are about] getting even better at those things,” explained Trent Mounter, an outside hitter for the Trojans.
“We are taking it one week at a time and one game at a time.”
The wins following the break were a confidence boost for the team.
“Some of those games were pretty hard. We faced a couple scenarios we haven’t been in yet, and we did a good job in adapting to those adversities,” Mounter said.
“We’ve got a really talented team this year,” said fourth-year, Nathan Goss, a setter for the Trojans.
“From being around awhile, I’ve kind of seen the team have its roller-coaster.”
“This year, if a guy is not on, we have other guys. If someone isn’t having it that day, we have someone who can pick him up,” Goss added.
“So, I think our team culture is really good, and our ability to see other guys and go to other guys has been really good.”
During the win-streak, the Trojans played its entire season-series against the defending national champions, the Red Deer College Kings.
The proverbial giants of the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) have won the national title three out of the last four years, and have always been a tough divisional rival for the Trojans.
However, the Trojans won all four of those matches to sweep the champs this season.
“Its huge for us. I’ve been around for a while so I’ve seen the Red Deer program and how strong they tend to be,” said Goss.
“So it’s really big with us coming in this year and being the team to reckon with,” Goss added.
Mounter said it was important for the Trojans to create some “breathing room” in the ACAC’s South Division.
Before the second half of the season, the division included a four-way tie for second place.
“We were two sets down in that second game against Red Deer, and we haven’t been in that situation yet, so that experience alone was good from that game,” Mounter added.
The win-streak, and especially the wins over Red Deer College, helped to solidify top position for the Trojans.
“It kind of sets up the rest of the semester, and hopefully we can finish top-seed heading to provincials,” said Mounter.
The powerful offense of the Trojans has loads of confidence and chemistry this season.
Mounter has been leading the ACAC in total kills and kills-per-set for the majority of the season.
Another Trojans outside hitter, Spencer Coulter, has been right behind his teammate in both stats.
“It’s really easy to set them up and then they take care of it,” said Goss.
The Trojans setter has also been efficiently productive this season and leads the ACAC in assists-per-set.
“I give all the kudos to those guys because they really make me look good and for the confidence for our team, it’s huge,” he said.
“There’s not one guy I can give the ball to that won’t put the ball away like we need to. So those guys, they’re just huge for us,” Goss explained.
According to Mounter, when opponents think they have their defense dialled in on the Trojans’ offensive threats, the Trojans can change it up and go a different direction.
We faced a couple scenarios that we haven’t been in yet, and we did a good job in adapting to those adversities. -Trent Mounter
“It shows how diverse we are,” said Mounter.
Mounter attributes a lot of their success and unpredictability to Goss’ vision and intuitiveness on the court.
“We’ve got all guns firing. Even through the middle we’re really strong, and it’s really hard for teams to defend us when we’re running on all cylinders,” said Mounter.
“So it’s building off that and staying productive, that’s what we have to do.”