Lions Battle RDC Royals
Lions Fall To Queens In Four Close Sets
The second place Red Deer College Queens visited the Lions’ Den on Friday night and will return home with another tally in their win column. Strong attacking from their outsides and middles, particularly P.O.G. Fauve Welsh, carried the Queens to victory as the Ambrose serve receive began to crumble late into the game.
The first set saw RDC grab an early 4-1 lead, but tough serving and more consistent play from Ambrose brought the Lions back to even up the score at 16-16. The score went back and forth until the end of the set, when a missed serve from Shae Mendes ended the set at 25-23 for the Queens.
Strong serving from Rivver Flewell helped the Lions establish a big lead in the beginning of the second set, the score at one point reading 13-7. The Queens brought it all the way back to 16-17 with a run of their own, but the Lions responded with another run of strong serving to make it 21-17. From there, several untimely hitting errors from RDC made it an easy victory for the Lions and evened up the score at one set each.
The third set was another close battle, as the Lions stretched out a lead identical to the start of the second set at 13-7. The Queens chipped away at it and held the lead at 23-21 after a setting error by the Lions’ Sarah Janz. Ambrose fought back to tie the score up at 24-24, but a kill from Brittney Davis and a Queens block sealed up the third set.
The fourth set saw the Queens ramp up their offensive production on the outside, while costly errors from the Lions gave their opponents a lead nearly impossible to overcome. A kill from Mady Kerr made it 19-24 for the Queens, but a missed serve handed RDC the set and the match.
Julia Kemper received Ambrose P.O.G. for her performance at leftside. Saturday night will feature a rematch between these teams in Red Deer, where Ambrose will fight to get back to .500 and Red Deer looks to challenge Briercrest for top spot in the ACAC South.
- Brent Ingram
Players of the Game
Lions Struggle Offensively As RDC Wins 3-0
In a match that looked promising after the first set, the Ambrose Lions failed to maintain a high level of play and make a dent in the Red Deer Kings’ armour. Head Coach Paul Armbruster remarked after the game, “there are definitely some things that we feel we should be executing on . . . we need to learn how to win the close first sets that we always have in this gym, because that can swing a match.”
Close it certainly was; the Lions capitalized on great passing from their back row as well as uncharacteristic hitting errors from RDC to keep it even throughout the entire first set. Unfortunately for the Lions, and despite two missed serves from the Kings late in the set, a kill from Matthew Lofgren ended it at 25-23 for the Kings.
From then on the momentum of the match sat firmly in Red Deer’s camp. The Lions kept it close for the first half of the second set and a big kill from Ambrose captain Nolan Ens brought his team to within one, but after that point the Kings began to pull away. Their lead grew from 12-8 to to 20-12, and eventually they finished the set with a 9 point lead at 25-16.
The third set was more of the same, and unfortunately the Lions' passing couldn’t keep up with the Kings. Red Deer P.O.G. Regan Fathers, despite several unforced errors in the first set, fell into a consistent attacking rhythm out of the rightside and freed up space for his team’s middles to score. Keaton Strom and Adrian Strandberg anchored Ambrose’s attack and serve receive, but in the end they weren’t able to carry their team to a victory. The set 3 ended at 25-17.
After the game, Ambrose P.O.G. Adrian Strandberg stressed the importance playing strong defense in order to put up a fight against the reigning ACAC and CCAA champs. “Red Deer is a big team; they’ve got a lot of big guys, and we have to try and get more digs and blocks.”
Tomorrow night in Red Deer the two teams get another shot at each other; the Lions, at 2-7, are hoping to have a better showing than tonight’s game, if only to gain some amount of momentum heading into their last weekend of play before the Christmas break. Meanwhile, the 9-2 Kings will try to distance themselves from those who would usurp their customary spot at the top of the ACAC South.
- Brent Ingram
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