Volleyball is usually a sport of momentum, with teams going on hot-streaks and winning strings of points. However, that was not the case in the senior boys game at Thursday’s Super Volley at Porter Creek Secondary.
The Porter Creek Rams defeated the FH Collins Warriors 25-21, 25-21, 25-18, but neither team managed to go on a substantial points-run, with the two sides trading blows in all three sets.
“Both teams have experienced players and that helps prevent those momentum slides,” said Warriors co-head coach Nathan Bingham. “They know how to get their heads into the right game-space because they’ve been there before.”
For Rams left-side hitter Derrik Anderson, the lack of a loud cheering section made it difficult to go on a scoring spree.
“It’s hard to get the momentum,” said Anderson. “There’s people here, but none of them are paying attention it seems. It seems quiet all the time.”
The previous week the two teams competed at the 45th annual UBC Invitational in Vancouver, where the Rams finished 13th overall and the Warriors won Flight D. As good as the Vancouver tournament was for providing the teams with match experience, the Warriors’ middle was lost to an ankle injury, causing the team to shuffle their lines.
“Our situation is we’re missing our six-foot, four inch middle Tanner Coyne,” said Bingham. “That’s the story of our team right now. Only one of our players is playing in their position, everyone has been shuffled around to try to fill the gap of missing Tanner.
“We’re juggling players around and they’re doing pretty good considering.”
Despite missing the integral player, the Warriors’ defence still sparkled at times, with a handful of big saves on errant balls, including one save that caused a player to knock Warriors coach Al Foster off the bench as the player scrambled to keep the ball in play.
“Their defence is gradually getting better,” said Bingham. “Tonight there were flashes of greatness and it was fun to watch.”
Although the team often rose to the occasion in important moments of the game, from the service line the Rams’ intensity began to slack in the third set, with the Warriors getting four of their first six points off Rams’ service errors.
“It’s been an ongoing problem,” said Rams setter Riley Smith. “I think it’s people just not concentrating enough when they go back to serve.”
The Rams’ win was their second straight over the Warriors this season, beating them
25-19, 25-19, 25-17 the previous night.
Rams win in five sets
Vanier Crusaders head coach Janna Tait saw a lot of potential in her team during the first set of Thursday’s senior girls game. Now, if they can only maintain that level of play…
“If you can figure out a way to have them play like that all three sets, you just let me know,” said Tait. “That’s always a tough thing as a coach, to keep momentum.
“This is only our second match of the year, so we’re still working on game-play.”
The Crusaders managed to grab a couple of sets, including the opener, but eventually fell flat in the fifth, losing 15-25, 25-16, 25-15, 24-26, 15-7 to the Rams.
“We were really pumped up in our warm-up but when we hit the court we were really jittery,” said Rams setter Cassandra Andrew. “We had a hard time bringing it back up after that. I think it was nerves that took us down at first.
“When things came together it felt really good.”
After bouncing back in the second, the Rams came alive in the third set, going up 19-6 with 14 straight points, spearheaded by the serves of Rams’ Krista Mooney, the only player from either team doing jump-serves.
“Getting a streak like that really helps you out and helps boost your team,” said Andrew.
“She’s been working on the jump serve. A few of us have been trying it, but a couple of us aren’t ready to try it in our games yet.”
The senior girls Rams had just returned from playing in the Juneau Invitational Volleyball Extravaganza over the weekend. At the tournament, the Rams made it to the quarterfinals, losing 26-24, 25-20 to Haines, Alaska, who they took a set off of the night before.
On the way to Juneau they also stopped in Skagway, Alaska, and defeated the high school team 2-1 in sets. The Rams lost their Super Volley season opener 25-14, 30-28, 14-25, 25-12 to the FH Collins Warriors at the start of the month.
This weekend the Crusaders will be going to the Cougar Classic tournament in Red Deer, Alberta. The Crusaders began the regular season with a five-set loss to the Warriors at the start of the month.
“Like I just told the girls, I don’t want them to walk away with their heads down, we did really good things that we’ve been working on in practice and I saw that,” said Tait after Thursday’s game. “We definitely have a long way to go still, but it’s good because it shows me what we still have to work on.”
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