Heartbreak home opener for Briercrest
The Briercrest Clippers narrowly missed victory over Medicine Hat, dropping 16-14 in the fifth set, Medicine Hat taking the game 3-2 (18-25, 25-22, 12-25, 25-19, 16-14).
Assistant Coach Paul Armbruster said consistency was a primary factor in Briercrest’s loss, as they dominated multiple sets.
“We want to execute on a consistent basis where we’re not in peaks and valleys. We need to get better at being consistent,” stating that every single play is important to that goal.
Briercrest jumped on an early lead in the first set, 7-2. After calling a time-out, Medicine Hat pushed back, behind only 10-8, staying a few points within the Clippers as Briercrest advanced. Josh Wendel and Carter Reimer denied many Medicine Hat hits and the team took the first set 25-18.
The teams alternated points at the beginning of the second set, both unable to claim few uninterrupted points, reaching 10-10. Josh Senneker, Brad Harms and Josh Wendel added their share of kills. Despite this, Medicine Hat began to pull away, Briercrest down 13-17. Briercrest responded, their front row closing the door on Medicine Hat’s attempts, but it wasn’t enough, dropping 22-25.
The third set opened similarly to the previous, Briercrest claiming a 9-7 lead after an exchange of points. From here on, Briercrest was unstoppable. The fans roared as Briercrest rolled over Medicine Hat, 25-12. Harms was a tough attacker and Cody Quiring finished off the set with strong serving.
The fight for the lead was sizzling in the fourth set, finally evening out at 10-10. Medicine Hat’s momentum was put on hold as Briercrest called a time-out, down 14-21. Despite a good effort Briercrest was unable to catch Medicine Hat, losing the fourth set 19-25.
Armbruster explained that there wasn’t one particular aspect that caused the downfall, but different aspects of consistency at different moments.
The gym buzzed with excitement as the fifth quarter got underway, both teams looking to seal a win. The score rallied back and forth until Briercrest slipped ahead 8-5. Medicine Hat answered back, evening out the score. Tied at 11-11, the crowd got on its feet looking to aid in supporting their Clippers. Senneker and Wendel hit hard bringing Briercrest up to Medicine Hat at 14-14. Unable to claim the set, Briercrest lost 14-16, and the match 3-2 (18-25, 25-22, 12-25, 25-19, 16-14).
Armbruster concluded, “It was a disappointing loss but we have to put it behind us and start making changes,” adding that fans can look forward to an exciting rematch tomorrow.
Medicine Hat’s player of the game was Taylor Towle with nine kills, four aces, seven digs and one block. Briercrest’s player of the game was Josh Senneker with a game high12 kills and five aces to go with five digs and three blocks.
Josh Wendel also had 12 twelve kills and a game high seven blocks. Pablo Acuna and Steve Guenther each had a team high nine digs.
Briercrest had 16 aces compared to Medicine Hat’s six. Briercrest had 18 blocks while Medicine Hat had 11. The teams were nearly equal in other statistics.
Briercrest looks to bounce back against Medicine Hat November 2, at 3:00pm in the Margaret P. Reimer Memorial Gymnasium.