Both of the Vanier Crusaders 11/12 volleyball teams had rough starts to the season, losing their two opening matches. However, at last week’s Super Volley held at Vanier, both the boys’ and girls’ Crusaders downed FH Collins and Porter Creek to pull themselves up to .500 records.
The Crusaders girls’ team picked up a straight-set win over the FHC Warriors Thursday, 25-16, 25-20, 25-15. Then the following night won 25-14, 25-16, 18-25, 25-17 over the Porter Creek Rams.
With an extremely close middle set, boys’ Crusaders beat the Warriors 25-13, 29-27, 25-14 Thursday. On Friday, after facing a two-set deficit and eventually a match point, the Crusaders fought back for a 20-25, 12-25, 25-11, 25-20, 16-14 win over the Rams.
Crusaders rally for big comeback win
According to both teams’ coaches, two things went wrong for the Rams (2-2) as they let a two-set lead and a fifth-set match point slip away as the Crusaders (2-2) came back to win in five.
“(Rams coach Sukh Sandhu) decided to pull out some of his nonstarters to give everybody some playing time, and I guess we took advantage of that,” said Crusaders coach Dwayne Stoker, speaking of the third set in which the Crusaders began their comeback. “(The Rams were) second-guessing themselves and things like that because they can play a lot better.”
“I think we would have pulled the match out had I left our starters in,” agreed Sandhu. “I pulled them out in the third set for development sake,” he added, emphasizing the importance of letting all his players log game time.
The other deciding factor came early in the fourth set.
With the Rams out to a small 2-0 lead, starter Derrik Anderson let loose a monster kill but came down wrong on his ankle and had to be removed from the game and taken away by ambulance.
“He’s an elite player too, “ said Sandhu. “Hopefully it looked worse than it was.”
Facing a match point at 14-13 in the fifth set, the Crusaders narrowly avoided a loss when Coty Fraser kept his team alive with a spike that landed on the line. Fraser’s kill was followed by a pair of miss hits on the Rams side, giving the Crusaders the win.
“(The Crusaders) didn’t play very well at all,” said Stoker of his team. “Tonight it could have gone either way, and then, unfortunately, one of (the Rams) starters went down with an ankle injury…
“We just happened to pull it out at the end.”
Rams B team gives
Crusaders run for
Friday night was the Rams B team’s time to shine.
With the A team competing in a tournament in Anchorage, Alaska, the B team took the Porter Creek reins and managed to take a set off the Crusaders (2-2) in their first Super Volley game of the season.
“The first set was kind of a wash, they were so nervous … it was kind of overwhelming for the first set,” said Rams coach Trevor Hale. “But they pulled it together and won the third set, so I was quite pleased with them.
“There were flashes of brilliance, some nice blocks, some nice hits,” added Hale. “But in the end they were just overmatched.”
After two unbalanced sets to start, the Rams jumped out to a 15-5 lead in the third set, eventually taking it 25-18.
“Momentum is such a big part of this game,” explained Hale. “We got off to a really good start and momentum just rolled with us the whole set. We got a couple good serves and we just went from there.”
“We got kind of flustered,” said Crusaders Courtney MacPhail of the third set. “They got a big lead and we just couldn’t get it back.”
The Rams were given the boost of having Julie Lackowicz on board , a Rams A team player who did not go to the Anchorage tournament.
“She’s got a lot more game experience and she was a bit of a calming influence,” said Hale. “She really helped.”
The previous night against the Warriors, MacPhail was named player of the game.
“I think she’s an amazing setter and I’m really glad she’s on our team ‘cause I wouldn’t want any other setter on our team,” said teammate Kyah Parent, MVP against the Rams, of MacPhail. “She gets to the ball no matter how bad our passes are.”
“She’s an amazing hitter and she’s always really consistent,” said MacPhail of Parent. “When I set for her, I know she’ll get it over and that’s really good.”