Experience pays off for Rustlers in win over Lions

Ambrose and Lakeland kept the theme of close games going as they played an epic 5 set match ultimately with Lakeland winning 3 sets to 2.   The Lions Den was rocking as Ambrose was fortunate to get a lot of support from Lions fans across the province make their way to Calgary to support the home team.  

Set 1 saw the Lions play with some nerves early, but settle down when it really mattered.  They played conservatively not making a single hitting error in the 1st set and thanks to 10 made by Lakeland, won the first set 25-23. 

The 2nd set was much of the same as the Lions saw themselves down as much as 9 at one point, but claw their way back into the set, getting as within 2 at 19-21.  The deficit was too much however as a late run by the Rustlers led to them winning the 2nd set 25-20. 

The 3rd set started much closer, as the teams traded the lead all the way to 19-19.   The Lions would close the 3rd out thanks to a huge block by the Player of the Game for Ambrose, Madyson Kerr.

Passing let the Lions down in the 4th set as trends continued.  Lakeland got out to an early lead but just like the 3rd, Lakeland had the experience and composure to pull out the set 25-20.  Anika Kuse (the Rustlers player of the game) helped snuff out any last minute push by the Lions. 

In the 5th and final set, it was the Lions that took an early 8-4 at the technical timeout. It would be the Rustlers coming up clutch when it really counted.  By 11 they had the game all tied up and put the pressure back on the Lions. 

Experience winning the last 2 ACAC Championships really proved to help the Rustlers in such a tight game.  Ambrose made a couple small mistakes to close out the game that Lakeland avoided.  In such a close game that is all that was the difference.

The Lions will now drop down into the consolation bracket and play at 3:00pm tomorrow.