Briercrest claims victory in close matchup
The Briercrest Clippers had their work cut out for them in a close-scoring showdown against Grande Prairie. The tense matchup did not disappoint, Briercrest winning 3-2 (21-25, 25-20, 23-25, 25-23, 15-11).
Briercrest put the first three points up for the first set, claiming a 3-0 lead before Grande Prairie bounced back with five of their own, 5-3. Josh Senneker stormed Grande Prairie defense, unleashing many kills. Briercrest rallied back, evening out at 10, the teams matching one another point for point, 12-12, until Grande Prairie pulled ahead 16-12. Briercrest closed the gap, 20-23, but were unable to commit. Grande Prairie took the set 25-21.
Briercrest captain Carter Reimer attributes missed serves to hurting the team’s momentum throughout the game.
The teams exchanged opening points in the second set until Briercrest pulled away from 5-4, extending the gap 10-5 with Brad Harms up to serve. The five point gap remained consistent reaching 15-10, until Briercrest broke away, extending their lead, 20-12. Grande Prairie retaliated with a series of points of their own, until a Briercrest time out interrupted their streak, 20-16. Cody Quiring came in, providing momentum for the Clippers to close out the set, 25-20.
Reimer was pleased with the team’s work. “I think our passing for the most part was pretty consistent,” adding that the team also made a lot of smart shots.
The score was tight for most of the third set; one team would score and the other would answer back. This continued until 15-15 when Grande Prairie broke away, 20-17. Briercrest pushed back, coming as close as 22-23, falling shy of victory, losing 23-25.
Reimer mentioned the importance of communication in connection some of the dropped balls during the game.
“[We need to] just make sure we communicate…making sure nothing hits the ground unchallenged.”
The fourth set opened with the teams alternating points until Briercrest broke away from a narrow 5-4 lead. Briercrest’s 7-4 lead was short lived, Grande Prairie surpassing them 8-7. What followed was an intense match, neither team able to gain more than a single-point lead. Tied at 23-23, Steve Guenther laid down a kill to bring Briercrest victory close enough to taste 24-23. Brad Harms served an ace, claiming a 25-23 victory for the Clippers.
Now split at two, both teams went into the fifth set, the fight for victory going to the bitter end. The opponents matched one another’s points, evening out at 8-8. Briercrest’s momentum picked up and they rolled over Grande Prairie 15-11, Quiring scoring the game-winning point.
Reimer commented, “I was just thinking ‘put heat on.’” He went on to say that upping the pressure and attacking aggressively were factors in Briercrest’s fifth set win.
Grande Prairie’s player of the game was Sam H Hallidy with seven kills, two aces, two digs and a team high three blocks.. Cody Quiring was Briercrest’s player of the game with five kills, two digs and two blocks. Josh Senneker had a game high 21 kills, three aces and five blocks. Pablo Acuna got 12 digs. Briercrest had 60 kills while Grande Prairie had 43. Grande Prairie had 11 aces while Briercrest had eight. Briercrest led with 54 digs and Grande Prairie had 45. Briercrest dominated with 15 blocks while Grande Prairie had six.
The Briercrest men’s volleyball team doesn’t play now until they host NAIT January 17-18 at 8:00 pm and 3:00 pm respectively. Games will be streamed online at Sportscanada.tv, and the Briercrest Volleyball facebook page.