Kassia Nordick, centre, from the Palliser Panthers blocks this hit by Demara Wig from the Kelsey Amaruks Saturday. Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
SIAST Palliser’s men’s and women’s volleyball teams both split this weekend to muddy an already tight race in the Prairie Athletic Conference standings.
The Panthers women’s beat the SIAST Kelsey Amaruks 3-1 (18-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-16) Friday and then lost to them 3-1 (25-27, 25-10, 25-18, 25-21) Saturday in a first-place showdown.
“In both matches all of the sets were pretty close,” said Panthers women’s coach Lewie Bell. “I thought we were a little more consistent Friday. I thought they out-played us Saturday — their passing was better, their serving was better.
“I don’t think we were as sharp as we were Friday. Our hitting and out attacking the ball wasn’t as consistent. Our passing wasn’t as good either, but I guess that happens.”
Kelsey (8-1) remains in first ahead of Palliser (7-1), but if Palliser has a game in hand and still holds the tiebreaker is the teams remain tied. The Panthers have lost fewer sets this season and if they can sweep their way to victory in their final two games they would guarantee themselves first place in the PAC.
The Panthers men also split with Kelsey in a battle that had playoff implications as well.
The Panthers beat the Amaruks 3-1 (25-16, 24-26, 25-17, 25-22) Friday and then lost 3-1(17-25, 27-25, 25-23, 25-22) Saturday.
“After winning the first set (Saturday) we kind of let up a little bit,” said Panthers men’s coach Chris Knoop. “The second set was a tight one, but we lost 27-25. The third set was the most disappointing part because we were up 21-14 and lost 25-23. I expect a little more out of them, especially in that situation.”
Knoop chalked up that kind of lapse as a lack of focus.
The Panthers sit in third place in the PAC standings with a 4-4 record. They’re just ahead of Millar College (4-5) and Kelsey (3-6). Great Plains is 9-0, while Bethany is second at 6-3.
They will meet Great Plains (8 p.m., SIAST Palliser) Wednesday for the first time since their first match of the season. The Panthers women will meet the Sundogs at 6:30 p.m.