Briercrest drops to NAIT, claiming 8th for provincials
As winners of yesterday’s matchups, Briercrest and NAIT came into today’s game eager for a repeat victory. A win today determined seventh and eighth place, the loser facing the number one ranked Red Deer team. After Briercrest easily commanded a 25-15 first set, Briercrest dropped in the next three 22-25, 25-27, and 20-25, falling 3-1 to NAIT.
Scoring was relatively even between Briercrest and NAIT throughout the opening of the first set. Briercrest serving and attacking forced many hangers on the part of NAIT. Up 14-11, Josh Wendel served all the way up through to 21-11, Briercrest coming down hard on the hits. NAIT was finally able to disrupt the momentum and get a few points in, but Briercrest rolled over them to claim the first set 25-15.
It looked as though NAIT would retaliate hard coming into the second set, grabbing a 9-4 lead early on. Brad Harms came down with a hit and followed with a huge block, helping refuel Briercrest’s fire, coming in 7-9. Briercrest continued trailing by a couple of points for the remainder of the set, nearly shutting down NAIT’s scoring. Briercrest was back 20-24 and Senneker came in with a huge hit as Briercrest continued to close, through not close enough to lose the second set, 22-25.
Plenty of unforced errors characterized the opening of the third set, the teams edging one anther alternately straight through to 10-10. Briercrest put up a series of huge blocks before NAIT responded with a string of points, 12-14 Briercrest. After evening out 16-16, the teams matched one another point for point all the way through 25-25. Jonah Johnson and Pablo Acuna came in to serve, switching up the momentum. NAIT claimed the final two points, taking the set 27-25.
Briercrest came from behind to whittle away at the 6-2 lead NAIT established early in the fourth set. They caught up and tied 10-10, and maintained through till 13-13 until NAIT stretched out 18-13. Briercrest continued to ward off NAIT’s attacks and despite a continued fight, they were unable to withstand NAIT, dropping the fourth set 20-25.
Players of the game were NAIT’s Jordan Teliske with one block, eight digs, two aces and 18 kills and Briercrest’s Steve Guenther with two blocks, three digs, three aces and 13 kills.
Briercrest travels to Red Deer next weekend February 21-22 to play the top ranked Red Deer team in the ACAC championship. Stay posted for game times.