By Ryan McCracken on October 22, 2016.
The Medicine Hat College Rattlers women’s volleyball team didn’t find the result they were looking for in Friday’s four-set loss to the Olds Broncos (25-20, 19-25, 25-23, 25-18) at the Snake Pit’s home opener, but they found an area to improve on heading into Saturday’s rematch.
Rattlers setter Kaila Gavel says communication is one key area where the Rattlers will need to tighten up in order to find redemption following last year’s bitter finish and finally break into the Alberta Colleges Athletics Conference championship tournament.
“We have the skill and I think all that’s left is that last bit of communication. I believe we can bring that tomorrow,” said Gavel, who put up a game-high 33 assists with five digs and two kills. “Last year we were one game away, so this year our goal is to make it to playoffs. Take away that one game and we’ve got it.”
Outside hitter Amber Stigter led the Rattlers offence with 15 kills and added a team-high 24 digs, but Gavel points out the team saw strong contributions out of rookie players like McKenzie Griffith, who put up six kills, three digs and a team-high three blocks, and Kennedy Lewis, who had five digs and three kills in the loss.
“I think everyone has a little bit of the jitters at the beginning but our rookies really stepped it up. That’s nerve-wracking, coming in as a first year starting. We had two of them on the court and I think they did unreal, good for them.”
Janelle Neyron did the heavy lifting for Olds, racking up 17 kills and 17 digs in the victory, while Tara Yuha had 20 digs.
The Rattlers men’s team picked up a three-set sweep of the Broncos in the second-leg of Friday’s action, 25-14, 25-17, 25-12.
Isak Helland-Hansen led Medicine Hat’s offence with nine kills on the night, while Cole Sanderson had 24 assists and Kreggan Scharnatta added six digs.
The Rattlers and Broncos return to the court at Medicine Hat College Saturday with the women starting at 1 p.m., followed by the men at 3 p.m.