Briercrest ladies cruise to straight set win
The Olds College Broncos rolled into Caronport to play the Briercrest College Clippers on a crisp November evening. Placed fourth in the most recent CCAA rankings, Briercrest sits atop the South Division and looks to secure its third straight match win, while Olds is languishing in fifth and has not won a set in four consecutive contests.
Olds grabbed a quick lead in the opening stanza, but Briercrest setter Ashley Zacharias successfully established Emma Neustaedter and Karina Peterson in the middle, allowing Briercrest to race to a 13-5 advantage. Delaney Pysar sizzled a couple of shots down the line for the visitors, but Samantha Zacharias replied with a solo block and a deep crosscourt scorcher. Helen Blen spelled Karina Peterson and promptly delivered an ace, and Briercrest cruised to a 25-11 win.
A combination of subpar serving by Briercrest and inspired defense by Olds gave the visitors the upper hand to open the second set. When Adriana Dewar could not handle Janelle Neyron’s high floating serve, Briercrest faced an 8-2 deficit. A Briercrest time out energized the team, and the ladies cut the Olds lead to two on the merits of Ashley Zacharias’ tricky float serves and Sam Zacharias’ power hits. Janae Rapley and Sam Zacharias supplied the necessary power the rest of the way, and Briercrest escaped the second set with a slim 25-23 victory.
Olds galloped to a quick lead in the third set thanks to Delaney Pysar’s assertive serving and clever net play by veteran setter Jamie Craig. When Olds’ power hitter Tara Yuha tooled off the Briercrest block into the antenna, the visitors from Alberta seized a 7-5 edge. Janae Rapley thumped a pair of aces before making way for Adriana Dewar, who racked up six straight service points with a baffling array of serves. Briercrest cruised unhindered the rest of the way, scoring a 25-14 win and sweeping the match 3-0.
Player of the Game for Olds College was Tina VonGunten, who recorded a pair of kills and two digs; Janelle Neyron contributed six kills to the Olds attack. Sam Zacharias received the POG nod for Briercrest with 16 kills and five digs, while Adriana Dewar starred at the service line with five aces.