Briercrest beats Kodiaks in four sets
By Willie Cole
The Lethbridge Kodiaks men’s volleyball team sought their vengeance against the Briercrest Clippers Saturday afternoon as the Clippers defeated them Friday night in a heart-breaking five sets. As top teams in the south division of the ACAC, both teams sought to gain an edge with the second half of the season just beginning. Briercrest came out on top 3-1 (25-22,25-22,18-25,25-21).
The first set opened up with Lethbridge having a 4-2 lead heavily due to a kill by Matthew Ferstl. Kills from Cody Quiring and Steve Guenther helped Briercrest fight back to gain a 5-4 lead. As Briercrest surged ahead with a 10 to 8 lead, kills from Jack Newman and Kyle Halischuk kept the Kodiaks alive. The two teams remained tied for a large portion of the first set, as a big kill from Jack Newman helped the Kodiaks tie the score at 14. A great set from Carter Reimer helped Cody Quiring give the Clippers a 17-16 lead. The score continued to go back and forth as the two teams were tied at 18. Matthew Paul came in for Briercrest and showed tremendous hustle in getting a crucial dig to help give the Clippers a 20-18 advantage. A critical block from Carter Reimer helped Briercrest gain momentum with a 23-21 lead late in the first set. The first set concluded with Briercrest winning by a score of 25 to 22, giving them a 1-0 lead in the match.
The Briercrest Clippers displayed their athleticism early in the second set with three monstrous kills from Steve Guenther giving them a 6-4 lead. The Kodiaks fought back, however, with a tough kill from Jimma Chol, but Briercrest still had the lead at 10-8. Shortly after, the Clippers increased their lead to 12-8 on a kill from Josh Wendel. Briercrest continued rolling with the lead 16-10 after a kill and a service ace from Steve Guenther. A kill from Jack Newman and a block from Nic Dubinsky helped the Kodiaks decrease the deficit to 17-15. A significant block from Jimma Chol assisted the Kodiaks in making it a one point set with the score 18-17 in favour of Briercrest. A kill and block from Kyle Pankratz increased the Clippers’ lead to 5 at 22-17. Two straight blocks from Victor Macedo gave the Kodiaks momentum in decreasing the Clippers’ lead to 22-21. A high-flying block from Josh Wendel gave Briercrest the final point of the second set and a 25-22 win; giving them the lead of 2 sets to 0.
The beginning of the third set consisted of the Kodiaks urgently opening with a 6 to 3 lead. Lethbridge gained much of its energy from two big blocks from Jack Newman. Kills from Nic Dubinsky and Jimma Chol played big roles in the Kodiaks increasing their lead to 5 at 10-5. Another big block from Chol gave the Kodiaks a 12-5 lead. A bolt-like serving ace from Hakon Ostrem increased the Kodiaks advantage to 15-8. A block from Josh Senneker helped Briercrest stay alive decreasing the Kodiaks’ lead 18-13. Another wall-like block from Jimma Chol enlarged the Kodiaks’ lead to 8 at 22-14. Despite great comeback attempts by Briercrest, the Kodiaks won the third set 25-18, reducing the Clippers’ lead to 2-1.
The fourth set opened with the Kodiaks taking a 3-1 lead after a kill from Matthew Ferstl. Briercrest retaliated quickly to take the lead at 7-4 after another huge kill from Steve Guenther. A service ace from Kyle Pankratz increased the lead, and a block from Josh Wendel improved the Clippers’ lead to 6 at 13-7. A beast-like kill from Josh Wendel gave Briercrest a significant boost with their 15 to 10 lead. A block from Victor Macedo and another big kill from Matthew Ferstl helped the Kodiaks stay alive with the score 16-13. Over the next few rallies, the score seemed to remain a three point difference in favor of Briercrest. Steve Guenther’s kill gave the Clippers a 20-17 advantage. Cody Quiring’s powerful kill gave the Briercrest a 22-19 lead heading into the final rallies of the set. The Clippers remained in control until the end by winning the set 25-21, and the match 3-1 (25-22,25-22,18-25,25-21).
Players of the game:
Lethbridge: Jack Newman – 9 blocks, 11 digs, 4 blocks
Briercrest: Carter Reimer - 6 digs
Key Stat: Reimer’s six digs were absolutely crucial in controlling the Kodiaks’ hard-hitting powers.
Lethbridge held the edge in kills 49 to 46, digs 44-40 and blocks 12-11, while Briercrest held the slight edge in service aces four to three.
Briercrest statistical leaders were Cody Quiring with a game high 13 kills, Kyle Pankratz with a game high two aces, Pablo Acuna with a team high seven digs, and Josh Wendel with a game high four blocks.
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