The very last Super Volley match to be played in the F.H. Collins Secondary gym before demolition in the spring was a doozie. Better yet, the home team won.
F.H. Collins Warriors defeated the Vanier Crusaders 25-27, 25-11, 22-25, 25-14, 15-11 in senior boys high school volleyball on Wednesday.
With the win, the Warriors end the Super Volley regular season undefeated with a 4-0 record. The Warriors also won the Dawson Invitational Volleyball Tournament two weeks ago, defeating the Crusaders in the final.
However, losing the opening set before running roughshod over the Crusaders in the second set showed consistency was an issue, said Warriors head coach Shaun McLoughlin.
“Whether it was serving (or) hitting, we were just really inconsistent,” he said. “We had moments of brilliance and then we’d follow it up with a collapse. We made a few changes in the fourth set and I think levelled out our consistency. Instead of going up and swinging as hard as we can and get big kills, we focused on keeping the ball in play.”
Since the Crusaders didn’t have a single sub on the bench, the longer the match went, the more the Warriors had the advantage.
“I think we played strong considering the lack of players that we had,” said Crusaders captain Jon Koltun. “We had some guys out with injury and people who had prior commitments. So I think the guys that were available stepped up big.”
Leading the Warriors in offence was Owen Hedstrom-Langford with 13 kills and two blocks, while teammate Marten Sealy produced 11 kills and three digs.
Warriors’ Kyle Wallace finished with eight kills and a block.
“Kyle Wallace stepped up,” said McLoughlin. “We finally got him some good sets and he got blocks at key times. That was big.
“Another thing, Jono Runions came from libero to being power and I think he provided a lot of offence that we were missing in those first two sets.”
For the Crusaders, who are winless so far in Super Volley, Cody Park was dangerous all over the court with 10 kills – including one to win the opening set – six digs and a block.
Koltun had seven kills and three digs while teammate Luke Londero racked up three digs, two kills and two blocks.
“Both of our middles are Grade 11s: Stephen Wohlfarth and Ethan Robinson stepped up big with some huge blocks,” said Koltun. “They normally don’t have to play defence because there’s a libero for them. But they were in defence and they were playing well.”
Vanier takes four-set win
When the Vanier Crusaders host the Porter Creek Rams next week in senior girls Super Volley, the first-place spot to end the regular season will be at stake.
The Crusaders moved to a 2-1 regular season record with a 25-16, 25-11, 19-25, 25-13 win over the F.H. Collins Warriors on Wednesday. The Rams are also at 2-1 in Super Volley.
“I think we played really well. We came together,” said Crusaders captain Meghan Young.
The Crusaders took the opening set with no small thanks to power Bailey Kuzma. Vanier won 10 consecutive points to go up 17-3 on the serve of Kuzma, who had two aces along the way.
“She’s amazing,” said Young. “She’s a crazy power hitter. She can just crank the ball really hard. She’s an amazing server … This was probably one of the best games I’ve seen her play.”
The Crusaders kept the momentum going into the second, winning the set on a dump by Shae-lyn Boyko after a dig from Young kept the point going.
The Warriors came alive in the third set. Charlotte Rentminster and captain Corey Baxter both had aces as the Warriors took a 18-13 lead. Baxter, who served out the set, said communication was key to taking the set.
“We had a good third set. We were a little bit short on communication, but we played pretty good, had some good things going,” said Baxter. “We were just talking more and moving more and there was better communication and flow to our game.”
A communication breakdown on the other side of the net also played a part in the third, said Young.
“We were having communication problems and weren’t talking too much,” said Young. “Once we shook it off and got out of the mood, we started to communicate more and we brought it up more as a team.
“In the third set we started playing our own game – our personal game – and in the fourth set we got out of that mood and started to play our team game.”
The Crusaders took the win with Tatum Koser making a block for match-point before dumping the ball to end the match.
The Warriors ended the regular season with a 1-3 record.
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com