Despite a strong first set, the Lions couldn't maintain the level of play they started with and lost 3-1 to Red Deer. Lions Player of the Game Willow Lewington, starting at rightside for the first time this season, picked up 9 kills and 12 digs; Queens POG Miranda Dawe had 12 digs of her own to go along with 16 kills en route to RDC's 6th win of the season.
The Lions' first set victory rested largely on their serving, as they kept the pressure on the Queens serve receive and controlled the set from start to finish. Kelsey Olsen, Willow Lewington, and Ali Leskow all contributed to the Lions' five blocks on the night, shutting down the Queens' offense early. Leskow was also the team's strongest attacker, with 13 kills over four sets, and Ambrose finished the first set 25-21.
From then on, the Queens turned the game completely around. It was their turn to serve aggressively and put the Lions in trouble, and the outside attacking of Miranda and Katrina Dawe was something the Lions could not find an answer for. The Queens quickly tied the sets up 1-1 with a 25-12 victory.
The final two sets saw a much higher level of play from both teams, but when push came to shove it was the Queens who found a way to come home with the win. 4th year RDC rightside McKenna Barthel started heating up late in the game, with 9 kills and 3 stuff blocks, just one of too many offensive weapons at the Queens' disposal.
Head Coach Colin Kubinec said after the game, "I think our biggest strength tonight was our heart, and never giving up on a ball, we showed a lot of resilience…we just showed tonight that if you can't pass, then you can't really do a lot."
The teams will rematch tonight at 6:00 pm in Red Deer, both teams looking to jump up in the standings with a win. Head to acactv.ca to watch the game live if you can't make it to Red Deer College.
- Brent Ingram