Lions Come Up Empty Against A Talented Rattlers Squad
Saturday’s Men's Volleyball game was more competitive than the previous night’s 3-0 loss, but unfortunately for the Lions it resulted in another loss in three sets. Ambrose P.O.G. Keaton Strom’s 16 kills weren’t enough to net his team a win, while Rattlers leftside Isak Helland-Hansen and setter Cole Sanderson were finding holes in the Lions defense all night long.
Said Lions Coach Paul Armbruster, “Last night I think we really wanted to prove ourselves… we felt too tight and it showed in our serving and passing. Tonight we were much more loose and free to play, but Medicine Hat played a heck of a lot better tonight as well and we fell a little bit short.”
An early serving run from Graeson Bergen brought his team back from a 1-4 deficit and made it 9-5 for the Lions, but consistent attacking from Medicine Hat evened the score out and the two teams stayed neck and neck for most of the set. A kill from Keaton Strom out of the back row made it 22-20 for the Lions, but a few untimely unforced errors on the Lions’ side gave the Rattlers the set at 27-25.
The second set saw the Rattlers settle into their usual offensive rhythm and control the set from start to finish. Their lead steadily grew larger and larger, culminating in a final score of 25-17 after a kill from leftside Tyler Olson. Strong serving from Helland-Hansen and Vitor Pereira put the Lions in trouble and prevented them from establishing a balanced offense.
The third and final set, while more competitive, found the Lions unable to make any progress against the serving and blocking of Medicine Hat. The Ambrose players found the energy they’d lost after the first set and kept it close, tying it up at 17-17 before Medicine Hat went on a four point run to make it 21-17. The Rattlers pulled away in the final points to make it 24-20 before an attacking error from Nolan Ens added one more victory to the Medicine Hat win column.
Keaton Strom noted after the game that despite the tough loss, “…the mood on the court stayed pretty consistent, except for a small drop in the middle of the second set. Other than than we stayed really positive, which was a big step for us.” The Lions will need to stay consistent next weekend when the face off against the reigning ACAC and CCAA champs, the Red Deer College Kings. Friday’s games take place in the Lion’s Den at Ambrose, and Ambrose will travel to Red Deer on Saturday.
- Brent Ingram