It was a battle of errors in the Lions Den, as the Red Deer Kings came away with another straight-set victory over the Ambrose Lions. Lions POG, 1st year middle Brayden Nowosad, had 6 kills and 4 digs on the match. For the Kings it was 4th year Adam Turlejski, with 7 kills, 3 aces, 2 digs and 2 blocks, coming away as Player of the Game.
The Lions, trying out a new lineup to compensate for a flurry of recent injuries, had trouble putting a few points together to keep the score close. The Kings spread their offense over the course of the match, with seven players scoring at least 3 kills. Red Deer's middles put in the most work offensively, with Turlejski and 1st year Mark DeWit both adding 7 kills. For the first time this season the Lions had trouble killing the ball, with only 22 kills total over three sets; hitting, blocking and contact errors were consistent thorns in their side.
After an inauspicious first set that ended at 18-25, the Kings stretched out an early lead in the second and were up 18-24, poised to go up 2-0. The Lions pushed back, led by the serving of Jacob Reid (4 kills, 2 digs, 4 aces), and went on a 5-0 run to bring the score to 23-24. A swing out of the middle by Mark DeWit would close out the set, putting the Kings up 2-0 after a late scare by the desperate Lions squad.
The Lions looked good in the third set and had a 3-point lead before RDC Coach Aaron Schulha called a time out. Down 15-18, The Kings scored 5 straight points to go up 20-18 and take back control of the game. The end of the third set featured a nearly identical situation: with the Kings up 23-19, the Lions tried once more to push back and tie it up, making it 22-24. Unfortunately for the home team, Kings rightside Scott Irvine finished the game and snapped his team's 3-game losing streak with a kill from the outside, his 4th of the night.
Hoping to return home with a win, the Lions travel to Red Deer tonight and will play at 8:00, following the women's game. Catch the live stream on acactv.ca.
- Brent Ingram