It has been a season of growth and maturity for the Briercrest Clippers women’s volleyball team. With a young core, the Clippers started the season with a bit of uncertainty, but the second half was much stronger.
After finishing the regular season with a 9-13 record, the Clippers had an exciting long weekend at the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) qualification tournament. They defeated The King’s University College to be seeded eighth at the championship tournament this weekend in Red Deer.
“We would have liked to ideally finish in the top six and have a bye, but it was a really good test for us. We beat a really good team in King’s University College,” said coach Nolan Weinmaster. “Everybody played really well and we definitely played our best match of the year when it counted the most.”
With only two girls in their third year, four girls in their second year and eight girls in their first year, it was a challenge at the beginning of the season to find the best positions and rotations.
“During pre-season, we didn’t know what our starting lineup was going to be. We did have six veteran players coming back, but we only had two girls that had started for us consistently the year before. So, things were wide open from the start of the year and with so many new athletes on the team, it was just figuring out what our line up was going to be and once we did that, we started to play better,” explained Weinmaster. “Overall, we are quite inexperienced, but we had a pretty good second half.”
The second half is what helped this team propel them to the eighth seed. They had a streak of winning five out of six games and were able to build momentum at the right time.
“Out of our 20 regular season games, nine of them went to five sets. It has been a pretty crazy year that way and I think we won four of those five set matches, but it was just really valuable experience for us. We were battling every weekend,” he said. “It has been about becoming more consistent and in the second half we were definitely more consistent.”
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.