Going even in Edmonton
A rare loss and a win versus Alberta.
The Spartans women’s volleyball team took to the court this past weekend in Edmonton to face the Pandas of the University of Alberta. It was bound to be an even match as both teams are in the top three and have clinched a playoff spot. And that is exactly what turned out as the Spartans took a 3-1 loss and a 3-2 win.
It was unfortunate to see an excellent eight-game winning streak come to a halt after the Spartans fell to the Pandas on Friday night. Along with the loss, the Spartans will not be able to pass UBC for the number one spot. The Spartans will settle for second place, meaning that they will host a CW quarter-final best-of three.
The Spartans went down 0-2 after the first two sets on Friday. The Pandas were playing a well-rounded offensive match as they breezed through the first set with a 25-16 win and won a close second set 26-14. The Spartans played well through the second as they were leading throughout the set, but unfortunately the Pandas capitalized at the very end. The alarmed Spartans took over in the third with great efforts from the entire team to win the set 25-20. However, the Spartans were not able to keep up with the Pandasin the fourth set as they were down the entire set, losing it 25-16. The Spartans were led by Carly Hamilton and Amy Ott, who both had 11 kills.
With the loss, it was a different mindset for the team as they stepped on the court to play again on Saturday. It was an entertaining, old fashion volleyball game where both teams exchanged blows. The Spartans started shaky in the first set, as they were down 8-3 very quickly. They did not let up however, as the Spartans quickly came back and eventually took the lead. A kill by Hamilton won the first set for the Spartans 25-20.
The second set was close for both teams. The Pandas led at the midway point, 14-9 but then the Spartans put on a nice run to tie it at 20. Both teams continued to rally for the set as they passed the 25 point mark. Unfortunately two Spartan attack errors forced the loss on the Spartans in the second set 29-27.
After winning the third set 25-22 and losing the fourth set 21-25, the Spartans came into the final set and finally conquered the Pandas. It was close throughout the entire set but a kill by Hamilton won the set 15-12 and the match 3-2.
Kelci French has an amazing match-high 46 assists in this game, helping the Spartans pull off the close win. Coach Ryan Hofer commented on the game, “It was a really exciting match tonight and I thought the girls did a great job of rebounding from yesterday.” The Spartans will now enter the playoff picture with a best-of-three in the quarter finals as they host Calgary at the LEC on February 14.