Briercrest hands CCAA number two ranked Grande Prairie first loss of season
The Briercrest Women’s volleyball team fought hard for their win against CCAA number two ranked Grande Prairie in a nail-biter, victory prolonged until the fifth set. Briercrest won 3-2 (13-25, 25-15, 20-25, 25-19, 16-14).
Strong Grande Prairie offense proved an early challenge for Briercrest with hard hits that left Briercrest down 8-1. Elly Wendel scored several aces which provided Briercrest with a boost to stay in the game. Unable to follow through, Briercrest ended on the downside of 13-25.
Briercrest veteran Erin Anderson explained, “We were just thinking too much and not playing the way we should play.”
Briercrest came into the second set with the upset on their minds to storm Grande Prairie 25-15. Mikayla Reinhardt opened the set serving Briercrest to a four-point lead, 4-0. The team worked together to present an aggressive offense, breaking through Grande Prairie defense, ending the set 25-15.
Anderson explained that it was a collective regrouping after the first set, “every single person needed to make the decision to turn it around.” She continued, “to play like we can and to be aggressive like we can…and to not overthink it.”
Grande Prairie got off to an early lead in the third set, pulling away 7-1. Wendel had an incredible serving run for the Clippers, coming back 7-7. From there Grande Prairie ran away with the score 20-12, before Briercrest was able to answer back. Briercrest fought hard coming from behind 17-24 to narrowly lose the set 20-25.
The fourth set opened with the teams alternating back and forth in a fight to command a solid lead, the score reaching 11-11 before Briercrest pulled away. Whitney Zylstra and Wendel both had solid hits while Reinhardt’s serving brought in a few more points. Starlet Peterson’s blocking and hitting also contributed to the remaining points needed for the Clippers to close the game 25-19.
Wendel opened the final set serving two consecutive aces, Briercrest edging away 7-3. Grande Prairie answered back, coming one point shy of Briercrest’s 10-9 lead. Briercrest was able to stay one small step ahead of Grande Prairie until the bitter end, 16-14.
Anderson credits Coach Nolan Weinmaster for his work in giving Briercrest the tools necessary to execute a win.
Players of the game were Grande Prairie’s Barb Cranston with eight kills and 20 digs and Briercrest’s Amanda Lundquist with one kill and 11 digs. Elly Wendel led overall with 14 kills and eight aces. Brooke Peterson had a game high 21 digs. Briercrest had 41 kills while Grande Prairie had 38. Briercrest had 15 aces and Grande Prairie had seven. Grande Prairie got 87 digs and Briercrest got 84.
Briercrest plays Grande Prairie again Saturday, November 23 at 1:00pm in the Margaret P. Memorial Gymnasium.