Poised to vault themselves into 2nd place, the Ambrose Lions were stopped in their tracks by the RDC Queens after a 5-set loss that handed Ambrose their first defeat in the Lions Den this season. Ambrose Player of the Game Willow Lewington had 14 kills to go with 4 blocks and 1 ace over the match, while Queens libero Kaylee Domoney received the award for her team after picking up 27 digs.
The Lions picked up where they left off from Friday night's 3-0 victory, winning the first set by a convincing 25-20 scoreline. A hard swing off the block by Lions outside hitter Maddy Williscroft (16 kills, 9 digs) ended the set that Ambrose had largely controlled from start to finish.
Red Deer struck back in the second set, cleaning up their play and taking an early lead. Increased serve pressure from the Queens put the Lions' passing in trouble and made it difficult for the home team to put a run together. The Lions clawed their way back and the score stayed even into the final points, before a kill from Katrina Dawe (17 kills, 12 digs) evened the set score in a 25-23 finish.
The Queens found even more success in the third, as the twin guns of Dawe and Jade Van Dyke (11 kills, 8 digs) on the leftside proved very tough for the Lions to stop. Passing struggles would continue for Ambrose and a 12-14 Queens lead ballooned into a 14-25 blowout to give Red Deer the 2-1 lead.
Unwilling to give up their perfect home record without a fight, Ambrose fought to pull out a slim 25-23 fourth set victory after a Queens net error. Lions middle Willow Lewington was much more involved in the offense over the fourth set, while Lions setter Sarah Janz (36 assists, 3 aces) gave the Queens lots of trouble from the service line.
The Lions jumped out to take the lead early in the 5th, up 8-4 as the teams switched sides. There must have been something good in the air on the south side of the gym, because after the switch Red Deer exploded to an 11-4 run to steal the fifth set victory 15-12 and bring their record back to .500 (6-6).
The loss keeps Ambrose (now 7-3) in 3rd place, and to close out the first semester of play they will travel to Briercrest (9-1) next weekend for two chances to steal a game from the top-ranked Clippers.
- Brent Ingram (Ambrose Athletics)