December 13th, 2018

Rattlers women ready to contend

By Ryan McCracken on October 12, 2018.


rmccracken@medicinehatnews.com
@MHNMcCracken

The Medicine Hat Rattlers women’s volleyball team is ready to contend for the top of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.

After going through the motions of a rebuild over the past few seasons, outside hitter Brooke Christie says the Rattlers are entering the 2018-19 campaign with a new level of confidence.

“I think we’ve found a lineup that clicks really well together,” said Christie, whose Rattlers open the ACACseason with game against the Broncos tonight and Saturday in Olds. “And having girls that can back you up is definitely good.”

RELATED: No shortage of new blood on Rattlers men’s volleyball team

The Rattlers welcome seven new faces to this year’s lineup, but bring back a wealth of veteran talent, like third-year outside hitters Christie and Janelle Neyron, fourth-year libero Shaya Suchy and fourth-year outside hitter Amber Stigter.

Stigter led the Rattlers offensively last season with 3.25 kills per set, while returning setter Rachel Stewart led the team with 7.78 assists per set and Suchy headed up the defence with 3.82 digs per set— 1.50 more than any of her teammates.

Christie added the team was able to mesh well through their pre-season schedule, especially when it comes to building chemistry with the team’s newest players.

“We have a few first-years and then we have a lot of returning girls, so that’s nice,” said Christie. “Picking up girls that just fit in instantly made things really good coming in.

“Right away you don’t have to do too much work with them, they just fit in perfectly.”

The Rattlers closed out last season with a 7-17 record — after going 4-20 the year before — earning them a sixth-place finish in the South Division ahead of only the winless 0-24 Olds Broncos.

After kicking off the season in Olds this weekend the Rattlers meet up with the Ambrose Lions for a home-and-home set, starting next Friday in Caronport before closing out with Medicine Hat’s home opener next Saturday at the Snake Pit.

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