Dawson champs downed in five setters

Payback for the senior finals at the Dawson Invitational Volleyball Tournament last weekend was not long in coming.

Payback for the senior finals at the Dawson Invitational Volleyball Tournament last weekend was not long in coming.

In the first Super Volley games since Dawson, held Thursday evening at Porter Creek Secondary, both senior division-winning teams were defeated in lengthy five-set matches by the very teams they beat in the finals on Saturday.

In the boys’ game the Porter Creek Rams twice overcame one-set deficits to defeat the Vanier Crusaders 19-25, 25-21, 24-26, 25-19, 15-9.

In the girls’ matchup, the Crusaders almost let slip a two-set lead but held on for a 26-24, 25-23, 17-25, 22-25, 17-15 win over the Rams.

“Each set, each play we tried to get better, play more our style of volleyball,” said Rams boys’ head coach Mike Kelly. “Everyone played well at different times of the game. Even though we were making mistakes, when we needed to play well, at the end of sets, we started to have a bit more finish.”

The loss for the Crusaders was their first of the Super Volley season, but it wasn’t difficult to locate potential causes, such as the absence of captain Henry Kedziora and middle Albert Spycher.

“They both have previous injuries, so it was important to rest them for us,” said Crusader boys’ head coach Russ Tait. “They’re a huge part of my team, so it’s important for them to be 100 per cent, come the championships, which are coming in two weeks.

“This was a good opportunity for some of my younger players, who usually sit on the bench, to step up.”

Players of the Game were Crusader Michael Hunter and Ram Brad Gustafson.

Not only did the Crusader girls drop a two-set lead in their eventual win, they allowed the Rams four match-points in the fifth set before a serve from Vanier’s Kelsey Smeeton brought the game to a close.

“It’s the same as I said after the Dawson tournament, we still have moments where we mentally break down a little bit,” said Crusader girls’ head coach Natasha Bilodeau. “But we’re getting better and better at making a comeback.

“The plan is really the same, it’s just mental blips.”

Ram Elly Oulton was named her team’s Player of the Game while setter Robyn Fortune received the corresponding nod for the Crusaders.

“She played a really good game tonight and worked really hard,” said Bilodeau of Fortune. “We were able to set up some quality attacks, partly because the passing was really good, but also because she was doing a really good job.”

Super Volley action continues tonight as the Rams host the FH Collins Warriors for the last regular season games before the playoffs in two weeks.

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