Briercrest Reclaims Victory over Medicine Hat
Briercrest responded to yesterday’s defeat by Medicine Hat with fervor, fighting through three tight-scoring sets to win 3-1 (25-11, 20-25, 29-27, 25-21).
The Briercrest Clippers stormed Medicine Hat in the first set 25-11, dropped 20-25 in the second, pushed through a close third set 29-27, narrowly winning 25-21 in the fourth.
Briercrest was unstoppable in the first set, in control right from the start. Carter Reimer and Josh Senneker each served two consecutive aces early on and the momentum swelled, 9-4. Solid serving from Steve Guenther and blocking from Cody Quiring and Josh Wendel added to the momentum, Briercrest pulling away to win the set 25-11.
Briercrest Coach Nigel Mullan said keeping service errors to a minimum was a focus for the team going into today’s match.
“We wanted to be aggressive,” he explained, “but we didn’t want to keep giving up so many points,” adding that he was happy with the team’s serving throughout the game.
Briercrest claimed the first five straight points of the second set, Senneker again hitting back-to-back aces. Medicine Hat rallied back, closing the gap 13-12. Briercrest hung on until 19-19, but couldn’t commit, falling 25-20.
Mullan said that Briercrest’s trouble to adjust back to Medicine Hat’s adjustments in the second set hurt the team’s momentum in that set.
The score was tight throughout the entire third set, five points being the greatest difference between the teams.
There were various disagreements over ref decisions and a Medicine Hat player was given a yellow card at 5-5.
Jachin Karg and Michael Harrison came in off the bench when Briercrest was down 7-9, and the Clippers were able to pull ahead 15-10 before Medicine Hat surpassed them 21-18.
Mullan was pleased with Karg and Harrison’s contributions to the game, providing energy for the team.
Briercrest rallied back, and attacks from Wendel and Senneker added to the shift.
Mullan was impressed with Senneker’s input in the game: “He’s going to be big for us. We saw a positive contribution come through today so that’s exciting.”
The score was even at 24-24 and the teams alternated points until Briercrest finally took the set 29-27, a huge block by Wendel off an attack, concluding the set.
The fourth set looked like it might go similarly to the first as Briercrest commanded an early lead, 6-2. Medicine Hat caught up, trailing within a point or two for the majority of the rest of the set. Quiring and Senneker had some great shots, keeping Medicine Hat on their toes. Briercrest’s most unique point was earned as the ball hit the foot of a Medicine Hat player off a serve while he was in mid air to dodge it.
Up 23-21, Briercrest was finally able to finish off the set, 25-21, taking the game 3-1 (25-11, 20-25, 29-27, 25-21).
Players of the game were Medicine Hat’s Dylan Neufeld with a team high 11 kills, and five digs and Briercrest’s Michael Harrison with two kills and one dig.
Josh Senneker had a game-high 16 kills, and shared four team high aces with Josh Wendel. Josh Wendel and Steve Guenther both had ten team high digs. Josh Wendel led Briercrest with four blocks.
Briercrest had 46 kills compared to Medicine Hat’s 38. Briercrest dominated with 13 aces while Medicine Hat had four. Briercrest had 11 blocks while Medicine Hat had six.
Briercrest travels to Calgary to take on the SAIT Trojans, November 8 at 8:00pm and November 9 at 3:00pm.