Briercrest sweeps Rattlers in Home Opener
The Briercrest Clippers preyed on the Medicine Hat Rattlers at their home opener, claiming victory in three sets, 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-14).
Serving proved to be a factor in Briercrest’s win over Medicine Hat, momentum gaining as serving consistency increased. Coach Nolan Weinmaster said that serving pressure built after having lost a few serves early on.
“We were able to put some of that out of our mind and just play in the moment more, which was really good to see,” he explained.
The first set opened with the teams alternating points off the serve before Briercrest slowly pulled away, up 6-4. Medicine Hat trailed close behind for most of the set until Briercrest extended its lead 17-12. Medicine Hat came out of their time-out anxious to close the gap, nearly succeeding 19-17, but Briercrest closed out the set strong, taking it 25-18. Attacks from Elly Wendel and Erin Anderson contributed to Briercrest’s success offensively.
The second set opened much like the first, Medicine Hat taking a short lead early on, 6-3. Briercrest finally caught them at 12-12 and flew past, lengthening their lead to 19-16. Serving was still a factor as both teams forfeited many points by loss of serve. The fight for a strong lead continued until the end of the set, as Medicine Hat caught up 20-20. Their attack fell short as Briercrest claimed the set 25-21.
Coach Nolan Weinmaster explained that serving was a factor in the momentum of the game, noting a significant difference between the serving percentage of the third set compared to the first two.
He continued, “It just seem kind of like we were more relaxed in the third set and played the way we can which is good.”
Briercrest came out strong in the third set and didn’t look back, downing Medicine Hat 25-14, and the match 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-14). Blocking was key in Briercrest’s victory in the third set.
Weinmaster explained that blocking and defense were factors addressed after the first set.
He went on, “We started to [close the block] and it paid off in the third set.”
Zylstra and Wendel were a dynamic duo, shutting Medicine Hat’s hits with their double blocking.
Players of the game were Medicine Hat’s Sarah Burris with six kills, three aces and two digs and Briercrest’s Erin Anderson with five kills, two aces and one dig.
Brooke Peterson led Briercrest with a game high 15 digs. Elly Wendel had a game high ten kills. Starlet Peterson had a game high three aces. Whitney Zylstra had a game high four blocks.
Briercrest dominated with 34 kills while Medicine Hat had 14. Briercrest had ten service aces and Medicine Hat had seven. Briercrest led with 44 digs and Medicine Hat trailed with 32. Briercrest had ten blocks and Medicine Hat had four.
Briercrest takes on Medicine Hat again November 2, at 1:00pm in Margaret P. Reimer Memorial Gymnasium.