October 27, 2017 – Tensions ran high as the Kodiaks faced off at home tonight against the Red Deer College Queens after the previous season, when the Kodiaks earned their first win against RDC in the history of the women's program at Lethbridge College.
Looking to claw their way to another victory over RDC, the Kodiaks came out strong in the first, but were outplayed by the Queens early in the set, led by right side McKenna Barthel's power at the net with four kills. Kodiaks right side Corissa Mildenberger held the Kodiaks in the game with five digs while setter Ashely Noel proved once again to be an asset behind the line with back to back services aces to keep the set score tight with a 25-20 win for the Queens.
Looking to continue their winning trend, the Queens front row came out swinging in the second set, but the Kodiaks stole an early lead. The Queens caught up to the Kodiaks midway through the set but Lethbridge was able to maintain their lead to take the set 25-23, largely due to the contributions of Kodiaks libero Reina Hirata who battled the Queens with eight digs in the set.
The Queens took an early lead in the third set but the Kodiaks stayed close on their heels with captain Kristine Ward keeping her team in the game with her powerful contributions at the net. Queens captain Miranda Dawe fought back with six kills of her own to maintain Red Deer's lead for a 26-24 win, and to take a 2-1 lead in the game.
Both teams came out fighting for a win in the fourth set, trailing each other point for point. The Kodiaks pulled ahead with a combination of offense from Ward and Mildenberger, backed up by Hirata who controlled the court defensively. Ward laid down her hardest kill of the game (and sixth in the set) for the final point to take the set 25-20 and to tie the game up at 2-2.
The intensity reached a new high for both teams going into the final set, but the Kodiaks set themselves apart as Jamie Brown and Sianna Cherweniuk dominated the net for the first half of the set. Kristine Ward showed off her leadership in the second half of the set to lead the Kodiaks to a 15-11 win in the set, and a 3-2 victory in the game.
With this win the Kodiaks advance to 4-1 in the season while the Queens fall to 3-2. The two teams will face off for a re-match in Lethbridge tomorrow afternoon at 1:00PM.
Players of the Game:
Queens – #9 McKenna Barthel (13 digs, 14 kills, 1 block)
Kodiaks – #3 Ashleigh Noel (34 assists, 10 digs, 3 kills)