Clippers aiming to qualify

Katie Brickman
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Briercrest hosts ACAC volleyball qualifier

This wasn’t where the Briercrest Clippers men’s volleyball team expected to be at this point of the season.

Cody Quiring of the Briercrest Clippers digs for a ball against Red Deer College in late January. The Clippers will be hosting the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) championship qualifier this weekend in Caronport. Submitted photo

With high hopes of finishing atop of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) standings, the Clippers will actually have to go the long way.

The team is hosting the ACAC championship qualifier this weekend in Caronport.

“If you would have asked us at the beginning of the year, we would have said no that we wouldn’t have expected to be in the qualifier, but this it the scenario that we are in and we can’t do anything about the past … we can only do something about the future,” stated Paul Armbruster, assistant coach for the Clippers. “Regardless of what our original thoughts might have been, this is the scenario that we are in and we are going to make the best of it and treat it as an opportunity to grow and get better.”

The Clippers finished the season with a 10-8 record. The format of the playoffs are that the top six teams reach the playoffs whereas the next four teams play in the qualifier to see which two teams will fill the seventh and eighth spots.

On Friday, King’s University College will play NAIT at 6 p.m. and the Clippers will played the 10th seeded Keyano College at 8 p.m. in the Reimer Gymnasium.

The winner of those two games will compete on Saturday at 2 p.m. to determine the final seeding.

Although this wasn’t what the Clippers were hoping for at the beginning of year — especially with hosting the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) national championship in March, they are excited for their matches.

“Every opportunity is a chance to improve and I think one real positive will be the school is hosting Youth Quake this weekend,” said Armbruster. “There is a possibility that it will a big environment watching the game. I think that will be good preparation with (us) hosting nationals. There is going to be a lot of excitement and I think that will be good for the guys to be in an environment that will be a little bit more than usual.”

The Clippers did close out the season with a three wins and swept all those matches. They will look to use those games as momentum for strong play this weekend.

“I think we want to carry that through for the rest of the year. The more momentum that you can build, the better off we will be,” said Armbruster. “We are glad to be on a bit of a roll and we want to continue to build on that and improve upon it.”

After having a successful season and playoffs last year, the Clippers will also be relying on their veteran players to provide leadership as they reach these tough matches.

“You can’t teach experience, so that is something that is an advantage for our program,” he said. “That is a huge plus for our team as we do have a lot of experience in the group.”

The ACAC playoffs will be held Feb. 21 to 23 at Red Deer College.

Follow me on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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