Women's volleyball defeats Ambrose on celebratory night
The Briercrest women’s volleyball team launched their 2016-2017 season in front of a large and enthusiastic home crowd as they faced the Ambrose Lions. Briercrest, defending ACAC women’s volleyball champions, began the match with aggressive serving and hitting, and shot out to an early 4-0 lead as veterans Samantha Zacharias and Janae Rapley paced the attack. Briercrest pressured Ambrose with strong, deep serves. Two-time CCAA All-Canadian Sam Zacharias served six straight points to push Briercrest to a 12-6 lead, but Ambrose displayed their resilience and cut the deficit to 18-17, forcing a Briercrest time out. 2015-16 ACAC Rookie of the Year Ashley Zacharias delivered her only kill of the match at the crucial moment to give the first set to Briercrest, 25-23.
The teams traded points early in the second set until Samantha Zacharias erased a 6-6 deadlock with another six-point service run. Ambrose’s Somer Bartel halted the run with a crosscourt attack off a slick set. Adriana Dewar pushed the Briercrest lead to 17-10, forcing an Ambrose timeout. Following an ace by Dewar, Helen Blen entered the game and contributed three points on confident, aggressive serving. Janae Rapley’s kill and a tool off the block by Dewar handed the second set to Briercrest, 25-16.
In the third set, the teams again traded points to start the game. Karina Peterson’s perfect serve dusted the net tape and pushed the home team to a 11-6 lead, but again Ambrose’s Bartel executed a tough crosscourt shot to halt Briercrest’s run. Ashley Zacharias took over from the service line with four straight points, and the set ended 25-20 in favour of Briercrest.
Player of the Game for Ambrose was Rivver Flewell, leading her team with five kills, two assists, three aces, and two digs. For Briercrest, Sam Zacharias received the POG honours (12 kills, one assist, eight aces, and two digs). Ashley Zacharias dished up 30 assists, and Emma Neustaeder was a formidable presence at the net with 10 blocks.