Briercrest nearly takes Red Deer in five
The Red Deer Kings still reign after Briercrest fought them for five sets, nearly handing Red Deer their first loss of the season, 2-3. They split the first two sets, but Red Deer nabbed the fifth, the scores being 24-26, 25-23, 19-25, 25-21, 12-15 for Briercrest.
Exhilaration did not wane for an instant during the first set as Briercrest looked to damage Red Deer’s perfect record. The teams exchanged opening points, Briercrest landing back from Red Deer 5-7. Cody “the wrecking ball” Quiring contributed to the next string of points with a series of kills. From there the teams edged one another back and forth throughout the set. Briercrest came from 23-24 and another kill by Quiring tied it up, 24-24 but Red Deer claimed the remaining points, 26-24.
The second set opened much like the first, with Briercrest back just 3-5. The Red Deer attackers came down hard and they pulled away 9-5. They moved up incrementally until Josh Senneker served two consecutive aces, after which Red Deer called a time out, up 17-13. Quiring served Briercrest up 17-18 and Carter Reimer had a huge block. From there the teams exchanged short leads and excitement grew as Briercrest moved in front 23-22. A lost serve gave Briercrest the final point to claim the second set, 25-23.
The third set was yet again a repeat of the previous sets, Briercrest moved up from 7-5 from even at 5-5. Red Deer moved up 10-7. Briercrest blocks went up big, sometimes forcing Red Deer to scramble. Despite this Red Deer maintained a short, consistent lead throughout the set. Red Deer took the third set 25-19.
The teams matched one anther step for step at the beginning of the fourth set. Briercrest up 9-7, Red Deer had a string of six points before Briercrest called a time out at 9-12. The hanger got Red Deer into a bit of trouble and Briercrest continued to trail until 17-17. Senneker shanked a serve off an opposition, putting Briercrest back in front. 18-17. Senneker and Harms were Briercrest’s big hitters for the rest of the set and Briercrest claimed it 25-21, winning a huge rally.
Tensions ran high going into the fifth set as Briercrest continued to fight for a win. The score was incredibly tight the entire set, both teams pulling out all the stops, Red Deer finally breaking the set open at 12-12. They scored the remaining three points consecutively to take the set 15-12.
Players of the game were Red Deer’s Braden O’Toole with one ace, five digs and 18 kills and Briercrest’s Josh Senneker with one block, a team high of three aces, four digs and a team high of 16 kills. Red Deer had 61 kills and Briercrest had 55. Briercrest scored seven aces while Red Deer two. Briercrest had ten blocks while Red Deer had five.
Briercrest plays Augustana in Alberta next weekend, January 31 and February 1. The men play at 8:00pm on Friday and 3:00pm on Saturday.