Serving rouses confidence in sweep of Rattlers
By Kara Giesbrecht
Serving demonstrated to be a factor in Briercrest victory as the women defended their home court Thursday evening.
Nerves proved to be an issue at the start of the team’s first game in Margaret P. Reimer Memorial Gymnasium this season, but as the serving improved so did the team’s confidence and they swept the Medicine Hat Rattlers 3-0 (25-18, 25-12, 25-17).
Coach Nolan Weinmaster said controlling the nerves was significant for the team.
“It was our first game, there were a bit of nerves there,” he said, adding that the team was able to take control of the game once they started serving well.
Grabbing a lead on the scoreboard proved a challenge for both teams, alternating lead point until the score reached 10-10. That was as close as the match got, as Briercrest easily pulled away from Medicine Hat. Erin Anderson’s blocking and attacking and strong, consistent serving from Elly Wendel was crucial in kick-starting the team to end the first set 25-18.
“It seemed like we really fed off of that, it gave our defense an opportunity to do something. Defense is definitely one of our strengths, so any time we can make the other team play the ball, we’re going to,” Weinmaster continues.
This fresh mind-set carried over as Briercrest transitioned into the second set. Mikayla Reinhart opened with strong serving drawing the lead to 4-0. The Clippers’ boost continued and the Rattlers hardly had time to respond as momentum picked up as Briercrest rolled over the Rattlers, maintaining vast leads of 15-5 and 22-10 throughout the rest of the set, winning 25-12.
“Overall, when we were playing our game, they didn’t really have [an] answer for us.” Weinmaster explained.
Weinmaster altered his line up for the third match and the set started off much like the first did; continuously edging one another for the lead. Medicine Hat broke away at 2-2, claiming an 8-4 lead. Briercrest responded and again the lead switched back and forth until the score evened out at 15-15. A shot down the line by Whitney Zylstra seemed to be the final push the Clippers needed to recall the lead. Brooklyn Dyck followed up with solid serving driving the score up to 20-15. Briercrest confidently closed out the set, taking the game 25-17.
The team travels to Edmonton October 25-26 to take on MacEwan University for their first game of the season. Be sure to come support the women the following weekend at their home opener November 1-2 against Medicine Hat.