Early one-set leads were not enough to win Super Volley make-up matches at FH Collins Secondary on Tuesday.
After dropping the opening set, the FH Collins Warrior senior girls defeated the Porter Creek Rams 19-25, 25-19, 25-17, 19-25, 15-5.
It was the same story in the boys match with the Rams coming back to win 20-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-22 over the Warriors.
“I’m happy with the way the girls played,” said Warrior girls head coach Ken Kuni. “This was the first time we ran a 6-2 (rotation) in a game; we’ve only practised with it once or twice. Considering that fact, we did alright running it tonight.
“When the communication is there, we play good volleyball. It’s when it’s not, there things break down for us.”
Tied at two sets apiece, FH Collins jumped out to a 5-1 lead on four consecutive serves from Warriors’ Player of the Game Taylor Forsgreen that the Rams couldn’t return. Teammate Nicole Bendera then put a tip over Ram blockers to go up 13-5, hit a service winner for match-point and then ended the match with an ace down the line.
“She is one of two setters we have, and that’s what we ran tonight: 6-2 with the two setters,” said Kuni of Forsgreen. “She played real well tonight.”
Following the loss, Rams head coach Jordan Borgford had a long discussion with his team.
“It was about commitment to the team,” said Borgford. “Players are showing up late, missing practices. You look at the players on the bench and they’re not fully committed to the players on the court.
“I’m still trying to get some girls into roles that they can run with for the season. We have a lot of left-side players, and not a lot everywhere else.”
Named Player of the Game for the Rams was captain Kiana Palamar.
“She tends to be the most consistent player on the court, she tends to be the leader as far as talking to girls about what we need to do, who’s getting the pass and things like that,” said Borgford.
Warriors still needing a win
With just three returning players – the only Grade 12 players on the team – the Warriors are the youngest boys team in Super Volley.
Youth means inexperience and inexperience leads to inconsistency, said Warriors head coach Shaun McLoughlin.
“We’re having little lapses where, all of a sudden, we let the other team win six points in a row,” said McLoughlin. “So we’re getting in little ruts in which we lose our focus.
“We claw back into it, but then we have another spell where we lose our focus and go down again.
“In the first set we were way more consistent, we didn’t have those laps.”
After dropping the first set, the Rams began to gel, taking a 6-0 lead to start the second set on the serve of Peter Hanson. The Rams also forced the Warriors, who haven’t won a Super Volley match so far this season, to play catch-up in the fourth set, jumping out to a 4-0 lead.
Porter Creek eventually reached match point on an ace from Ryley Andrew and then won the match on a spike from Christopher Fisher off the Warriors’ blockers.
“I don’t think we were playing badly (in the first set), they were just playing a really good game,” said Rams head coach Mike Kelly. “We just weren’t clicking.
“Even though we lost the first set, we were still playing the way we wanted to. The way we played didn’t change too much, later on we just started to capitalize on it more. We finished more attacks, we blocked more, we dug-up more.”
Both teams’ power hitters were named Player of the Game for their squad with Josh Kelly for the Rams and Kieran Small for the Warriors.
“Even if he’s not playing at his best, when he plays within his abilities, he hits the ball, he forces them to play defence,” said Mike Kelly of Josh Kelly. “Just the fact that he’s in the front row swinging, forces the other team to keep an eye on him and it opens up other players.”
“His spin serve – he earned quite a few points off of it,” said McLoughlin of Small. “This was the first game that he did his spins serve the whole time. And he was key as far as passing goes.”
The two Super Volley matches were originally scheduled to take place the previous Thursday, but were postponed due to the FH Collins Awards Night.
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