Exciting match pushes teams to limit
© Katie Brickman
Amanda Miller of the Vanier Spirits tips a ball past Paige Newans (7) and Marissa Wilson (4) of the Central Cyclones during senior girls volleyball action on Thursday evening. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman
Vanier won the battle of the red teams in exciting fashion.
It was a back and forth battle between the Vanier Spirits and the Central Cyclones in senior girls volleyball action on Thursday evening.
The Spirits came out with the 3-2 victory over the Cyclones, but both teams displayed character and grit on the court.
“This feels really good. It was an up and down night, but at least they came back through that adversity,” said Vanier’s coach Rick Bell. “It shows that as a young team, they have the talent and capability. They just have to have that faith and believe in themselves.”
Vanier opened with a 25-21 set win that showcased both teams’ intensity in the backcourt and at the net. In the second set, Central came out with an early lead and never looked back, winning 25-18.
It was Vanier winning the third set 25-14 that featured multiple long.
Central dominated the fourth set, winning 25-7. The Spirits struggled early and made various errors at the service line and passing.
“I thought the team really started to come together and started to believe that if we are in our positions and doing those things that we need to do right all the time that we will realize the success. That was definitely a turning point,” said Joe Gunnis, co-coach of the Cyclones.
In the fifth and final set, the battle continued, but it was Vanier that came out on top with a 22-20 win.
“I am very proud of the way the girls played. We set some goals when we came in here. We said we wanted to pass better and they came in and did that. We said we had to be stronger on the service line. We did that. We had to talk as a team and come out with intensity. We did that,” said Gunnis. “Vanier played really hard and that last game was supposed to end at 15 points. They did a great job. This team works hard and has a lot of heart and their skill is fantastic. We hit the ball very hard and that is just going to continue to improve.
After getting handily beat in the fourth set, Bell tried to get his team motivated for the final set.
“Turn the lights back on,” he said prior to the set. “There was confidence, but there was also some jitters. I think we had three or four chances to bury it away, but took service errors and that is just nerves.
“Both teams left it all out there. Each team had their dominant games and this fifth game was just a see-saw battle. They have their heavy hitters and our girls just stuck in there and took what they could and tried to return the firepower.”
Although the Cyclones didn’t get a W in the win column, it was a moral victory for the team.
“Absolutely…100 per cent. It speaks to the character of our team that we played right to the last point and we gave it everything we had. That is all I can ever ask of the girls,” stated Gunnis.
In junior girls volleyball action from Wednesday, Central Butte won 25-8, 25-11 over Riverview and 17-25, 25-15 and 16-14 over Avonlea. Avonlea won 25-22 and 25-16 over Riverview. Central Red beat Peacock Green 15-15 and 25-23. Cornerstone won 25-21 and 25-15 over Central Red and 25-17, 25-20 over Peacock Green. Peacock defeated Vanier 25-11 and 25-14. Vanier won over Central in three sets (25-10, 25-27, 15-6) and Peacock beat Central 25-13 and 25-8.
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