Lions Volleyball Teams Contend with the Rattlers
Both the women's and men's teams played hard against the visiting Rattlers. Brent Ingram brings us a summary of both games and Left Side Madyson Kerr offers insight into the women's win.
Lions Come Roaring Back to Win at Home
No team is without rust after the Christmas break, and it took the Ambrose Lions women’s volleyball team a few sets to find their rhythm. Once they shook off the jitters and got back in their groove, they took control of the match and dominated the latter half of the night’s contest. Ambrose POG Mady Kerr agreed that nerves and feeling a bit rusty both played a part in keeping the Lions from starting strong. “We came out a bit nervous and weren’t playing very loose in the beginning . . . by the end of the second set we got our confidence back and we were able to play like ourselves a little more.”
The first two sets played out largely the same way: both teams committed the usual amount of errors seen in the first game of the second semester, and the scores stayed relatively even until they reached around 20. Medicine Hat proved their ability to close out tightly contested sets, as they pulled away in the final points of the first two sets to win 25-20 and 25-22.
Fortunately for the Lions, winning the crucial final points of a close set wouldn’t be a concern for the rest of the night: they proceeded to dominate the final three sets. The Lions were firing on all cylinders. Major offensive production from Mady Kerr and Ashleigh McKinnon, top notch setting from Maddi Richter, and stellar defense from the entire squad made it difficult for the Rattlers to put together any sort of a run to steal the home team’s momentum.
The scores of the last three sets were 25-14, 25-18, and 15-7, all in favour of the Lions. Head Coach Colin Kubinec remarked after the game, “I’m proud that we didn’t lose belief in ourselves, and I think it shows real maturity that we had the resolve to come back and win.”
The Lions will travel to Medicine Hat on Saturday night to try and complete the weekend sweep. “Hopefully we can come out passing a little bit better and playing more relaxed in the first set,” said Kerr. “We’re just gonna try to be ready to play right from the start.”
Tonight’s win gives the Lions sole possession of 4th place in the South, at 5-8. A win tomorrow would put even more distance between them and the competition.
Lions Unable To Take A Set Against Visiting Rattlers
The Medicine Hat College Rattlers men’s volleyball team showed why they’re currently ranked 12th in the CCAA, effortlessly outscoring the Lions en route to a straight-set victory in the Lions’ Den. The Lions kept pace with Medicine Hat throughout most of the first set, but the strong attacking of Isak Helland-Hansen gave his Rattlers a lead that Ambrose couldn’t make up. The first set ended at 25-20 for the Rattlers.
Set number two featured some terrific play from both teams, particularly defensive efforts by Rattlers rightside Joel Kotyk and Ambrose libero and POG Josh Rice. Unfortunately, the Lions’ offensive woes prevented them from making an attempt at pulling ahead, and the set ended in a 25-18 loss. Keaton Strom and Graeson Bergen, scoring 13 and 6 kills respectively, were the standout hitters of the night for the Lions.
MHC’s Isak Helland-Hansen provided the majority of his team’s kills at 13, while middle Brodie Dolter tallied 8 kills of his own and proved to be one weapon too many for the Lions to handle. The story remained the same in the third set, as another 25-18 loss wrapped up the Lions’ 11th straight loss to Medicine Hat. Men’s bench boss Paul Armbruster said after the game, “In my mind we won the serve/pass battle, but we needed to be better at the net tonight. We needed to terminate more balls, but I’m happy with the rest of our game.”
Anchoring his team’s serve-receive and defense, Lions libero Josh Rice knows the Lions can compete with the Rattlers if they come to play. “I don’t know if they can serve much harder than they did tonight and we passed pretty consistently, so I feel fairly confident going into tomorrow’s game.”
After tonight’s game, Medicine Hat sits at 10-3, second place in the South. The Lions fall to 2-11. Tomorrow night in Medicine Hat Ambrose gets another crack at the Rattlers, so be sure to tune in on acactv.ca if you can’t make it in person!
- Brent Ingram