Briercrest improves their record with sweep of Lakeland
By Justin Steenhof
After winning their home opener on Friday night Briercrest looked for the weekend sweep of the Lakeland Rustlers on Saturday. With a powerful offensive game that continued throughout the match the Clippers won their second straight game 3-1, (25-19, 25-27, 25-17, 25-15).
This time it was Lakeland who started the game with a kill after a long and exciting rally. However, Josh Wendel quickly answered the bell with a huge kill of his own and Brad Harms adding a nice block. Cody Quiring, who was looking to carry over his strong play from Friday, added a powerful kill and a few jump serves to gain Briercrest the lead. Lakeland just had no answer for the powerful Briercrest offense as they where forced to call an early time out trailing by three. Briercrest continued to roll with Wendel providing a massive stuff block and Kyle Pankratz providing a nice back row kill. Lakeland finally got something going as they slowly started climb back into the set with some of their own kills, pulling to within three. The Clippers responded with a Pankratz kill as they again looked to seize the momentum and another Pankratz kill led to a Rustler timeout with the score 20-16. The Briercrest offence would continue as another nice stuff block by Wendel preceded two kills from Josh Senneker and Quiring. An error by Lakeland gave Briercrest the 25-19 set win.
Briercrest started the second set much slower as the Rustlers jumped out to the early lead. They would look to Pankratz early as well as the strong blocking of Wendel to provide them with a spark as they regained the lead. However, Lakeland would answer with some strong blocking. Quiring would again have the answer putting two hard and well-placed balls into the corner. The two teams began to battle back and forth with the lead constantly changing hands and neither of them being able to seize the momentum. However, some well-timed blocks gave Briercrest a three-point lead and forced a Lakeland timeout trailing 16-13. Lakeland would respond with some strong blocking of their own and quickly tie the game. A powerful down the line kill by Quiring followed by a massive stuff block gave the lead back to Briercrest. However, Lakeland would battle back taking the lead 22-21 and forcing a Briercrest timeout as head coach Nigel Mullan tried to settle down his players. Strong play by Wendel as well as a nicely placed tip by Carter Reimer tied the game at twenty-four. Lakeland would push through at the end winning a closely contested second set 27-25.
The Third set would start with both teams providing fast paced hard-hitting volleyball as Briercrest jumped out to the early lead. Everything seemed to be going the Clippers way as they won all the scramble points and a massive stuff block by Pankratz resulted in a Rustler timeout as Briercrest was leading 7-1. After a small run by Lakeland Quiring would respond with a massive cross-court kill leading to an 11-5 Clipper lead. Wendel would then hit the ball so hard it bounced off the arms of the potential digger and into the roof which resulted in a loud chorus of “Hanger, Hanger” from the crowd. The two teams began to trade points with Lakeland desperately trying to cut into the lead but unable thanks to the strong offensive of Briercrest. A series of errors led to a Rustler timeout with the score 18-10 in favor of Briercrest. Jachin Karg would come off the bench with two straight points to give Briercrest the huge lead. Quiring would close out the third set 25-17 with a massive kill leading to a 2-1 set lead for Briercrest.
Two nice blocks by Harms and a smartly placed tip by Quiring gave Briercrest the lead early in the fourth set. Pankratz would follow that up with a massive hit down the line, which resulted in a 7-2 lead and a Rustlers timeout. A Quiring kill followed by another Pankratz and Guenther kill would continue the Clipper momentum. The Fourth set continued to be all Briercrest as Reimer pounded a free ball home leading to another timeout for the Rustlers with the score 16-6. Some more offense provided by Harms and Pankratz and the strong serving of Reimer increased the lead to double digits. Guenther would also get in on the action as Harms continued his strong play with another kill. Wendel and Guenther would help close out the game with Jonah Johnson providing the finish touches in a 25-15 blowout in the fourth set and a 3-1 set win for the Clippers.
Lakeland Rustlers player of the Game: #11 Justin Knight 4 digs, 11 kills.
Briercrest Clippers player of the Game: #4 Carter Reimer 14 digs, 2 aces, 3 kills.
Briercrest improves to a (3-1) record with their next game coming against Augustana on November 9 in Caronport.