Men's volleyball comes back to win exciting match 3-2 over Grant MacEwan

Posted: November 24, 2012

By Justin Steenhof

Briercrest College Clippers (8-1) Vs. Grant MacWen University Griffins (2-5)

Saturday November 24, 2012

The Clippers looked to complete a weekend sweep of the Griffins and improve on their already impressive 8-1 record.  In the End it was Briercrest winning the exciting five set match 25-27, 25-15, 20-25, 25-20, 15-10.

Briercrest started the first set hitting the ball well with all of their early points coming off of kills, however the Griffins responded with some of their own kills as they took the lead early in the first set. A Scott Willms kill trigged a Clipper run that would pull them to with one but they could just not tie the game up. However a series of errors by the Griffins gave Briercerst a slight window of opportunity and they seized it taking the two point lead and forcing a Griffins timeout with the score 14-12.

A Kyle Pankratz kill would continue the momentum right off the timeout but Briercerst could just not pull away as the Griffins continued to hit the ball well and keep the score close. Some nice scramble play which led to well-placed Cody Quiring kill finally extended the Clippers lead and forced a timeout by the Griffins as they trailed 20-15. Steve Guenther would continue the Clippers momentum as they looked to close out the first set strong but the Griffins had other plans as they cut into the Briercrest lead forcing two straight timeouts by the Clippers. The Griffins completed the improbable comeback fending of four straight set points to win the set 27-25 and take a one to nothing set lead.

Briercrest looked to bounce back from a first set collapse and they would look to their offense led by Quiring and Guenther to gain them the early lead. Two straight kills by Josh Wendel would increase the Briercrest lead as the Clippers looked to take control of the second set. Another kill by Guenther gave the Clippers a six point lead and the Griffins coach had seen enough and called a timeout with the score 9-3.

The offense would continue to click for the Briercrst as Scott Willms, Pankratz and Guenther would continue to hit the ball well as Briercrest extended the lead to seven. The Griffins just had no answer for the Clipper onslaught and they were forced into another timeout with the score 15-7. A push by the Griffins would cut the lead to six but a kill by Wendel would give the momentum back to Briercrest as they looked to close out the second set and a strong block by Quiring and Willms would push the Clipper lead to double digits. A kill by Willms followed by a service ace by Quiring finished out the second set 25-15 and tying the game at one set apiece.

The Griffins started the third set strong as they looked to regain the momentum from the first set but Briercrest responded with some strong blocking to pull within two. However, the Griffins would continue to push as they extended their lead to four and forced a Briercrest timeout. A Pankratz kill would spark a run that would pull the Clippers within one. The Griffins though would respond with their own push as they extended their lead to six.  Looking to respond Briercrest would again look to their offense to provide a spark but the Griffins would answer the bell with some big blocks as they looked to take a two one set lead.

Josh Senneker would come off the bench to provide some much needed offense as Briercrest looked desperately to dig into the Griffins lead and they would do so narrowing the gap to four and causing a timeout with the score sitting at 23-19. The Griffins though would close out the third set winning 25-20 and taking a two to one set lead.

Both teams came out strong for the fourth set providing hard hitting, fast paced and entertaining volleyball. The score was tight right from the start and this continued into the middle stages of the match as the Griffins held the slim lead but could not pull away. Willms continued his offensive output with two kills and a well-placed serve to tie the game at nine. However the Griffins responded as they again took the lead and carried it late into the set as they looked to finish the match. Guenther though would make their job harder as he continued to hit the ball well. A huge block by Wendel and Carter Reimer combined with an error and another block finally gave Briercrest the lead and forced a timeout with the score 20-19

Quiring would continue the Briercrest surge with a huge kill right out of the timeout and Willms continued to impress as he added another kill to his tally. A missed pass by the Griffins gave Briercrest a three point lead and led to another timeout for the Griffins.  Two straight points completed the comeback and gave Briercrest the 25-20 set win and tied it at two sets apiece.

Willms began the fifth set with a bang as he pounded home one of his many kills and the Guenther demolished a free ball to give Briercrest the early lead. Pankratz and Wendel would join the action as the hard hitting Briercrest offense continued to fire on all cylinders leading to a Griffins timeout with the score 5-2

The Griffins would pull to within one as both teams continued to hit the ball well. Willms would add another kill and a well-placed tip by Reimer would increase the Briercrest lead to three as the Briercrest offense would continue to push them towards the finish line. An absolutely huge kill by Wendel provided the finishing touches as the Clippers finished the fifth set 15-10 winning the match three sets to two.

Briercrest Clippers player of the game: #12 Kyle Pankrantz 1block, 13 digs, three aces, 14 kills

Grant MacEwan Griffins player of the game: #15 Matt Harris 1 block, five digs, three aces, 21 kills

 Games notes:  Player highs for Briercrest were Pankratz and Guenther with 14 kills apiece, Pankratz also led the way in serving aces with 3 and Pablo Acuna led the team with 14 digs.

Briercrest had the edge in every statistical category except blocks, where MacEwan had a slight eight to seven edge. Briercrest had 70 kills, 12 service aces and 64 digs to Grant MacEwan’s 51, five, and 60 respectively.

 Briercrest improves to a stunning 9-1 record with their next game is on January 11 in Lethbridge.