One of two comeback attempts came to fruition at the Super Volley season openers at Porter Creek Secondary on Wednesday.
The FH Collins Warrior girls let slip a two set lead, but hung-on to beat the Porter Creek Rams in five, winning 25-14, 25-23, 21-25, 15-25, 16-14.
In the boys game, the Rams’ comeback attempt was fulfilled, overcoming a one-set deficit to defeat the Warriors 23-25, 25-13, 25-16, 25-14.
“We started really strong. We were talking, communicating, moving,” said Warrior girls captain Dahria Beatty. “We have lots of really good athletes on our team and we’re just getting used to playing with each other. We’ve had some good girls move up who didn’t play senior last year.
“After the first two sets, we stopped talking, which made us stop moving, and we made quite a few mistakes that they were able to capitalize on. And our serving got a little bit weaker towards the end.”
Facing match-point at 14-13 in the fifth set, Warrior Jennifer Curtis put her team back on track when it mattered most. Curtis put a tip over Ram blockers to tie the game and, on-serve, slapped down an ace and then a service winner for the victory.
“When it got to that point we started to want it more again and our energy level came back up again,” said Beatty of the fifth set. “We have some really good players, so as we get through the year, I think we’ll learn how to play together the whole time and not be so hot and cold.”
“I didn’t just play starters, I mixed and jumbled everybody,” said Rams head coach Jordan Borgford, whose team has three returning players compared to the Warriors’ seven. “So a part of it is kids not knowing who’s playing with who.
“We missed a lot of serves, and that’s one of the things I wanted to get them to focus on.”
Named Player of the Game for the Rams was captain Kiana Palamar for her “consistency and defence,” while Linda Aranda got the corresponding nod for the Warriors.
“She played very consistently and she had really good hitting,” said Beatty. “She was really solid throughout the game and we could really depend on her.”
Rams fight back for first win
With five returning players and eight seniors, the Rams’ boys team had age and experience on their side as they came back from a set down to defeat the Warriors.
“We slowly started to pick up and we got into a groove and stuck there for a while,” said Rams head coach Mike Kelly. “They started to pass a lot better and once you start to pass better it looks and feels easier. Once the passes started to come a lot better, we started to get a lot more kills, and started to execute the more difficult plays, and that puts a smile on everyone’s face.”
After dropping the first set, which the team led up to 21-21, the Rams came alive, taking the second set on a spike off Warrior blockers from acting captain Peter Hansen and the third on a hard flat serve from Rams Player of the Game Brady Bonnycastle. The Rams took the final point of the match on a missed Warrior serve.
“In the first one, we were pretty consistent. I think PC improved a lot after that one; they stopped making so many errors,” said Warriors head coach Shaun McLoughlin. “I think my guys got a little nervous as well. All of a sudden, when PC is hitting at us, we were like, ‘How do we defend against this?’”
The Warriors squad doesn’t have as much experience to draw on, with three returning players – the only Grade 12s on the team. Named Player of the Game for the team was Stephen Grundmanis, playing libero and power.
“He played really well for us,” said McLoughlin. “His passing was there and his defence was very consistent.”
The Porter Creek Rams were back on the court at home to face the Vanier Crusaders Thursday evening.
See full coverage of the Crusaders’ season openers Monday at yukon-news.com.
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