Caronport, SK. The Briercrest Clippers faced off against the Medicine Hat Rattlers for their second weekend in a row at home.
Although Medicine Hat scored the first couple points of the first set, it was Briercrest who really took the lead, finding themselves up 7-2 on the Rattlers. However, the Clippers had to take an early timeout at the Rattlers found their groove, bringing the game even at 9's. The two teams exchanged the next few points, but the Clippers began to gain some traction, forcing a Rattlers' timeout leading 18-13. But the Rattlers pushed back, making it 18-16 and causing head coach Nigel Mullan for the Clippers to call a timeout. Not to be outdone, the Clippers returned with a jump in their step, and it was the Rattlers who found themselves taking the next timeout at 23-17. The Clippers then made swift work of the Rattlers, taking the first set 25-19.
Both teams came out to play for the second set, finding themselves tied early in the set at 4's. But it was the Clippers who gained momentum first and began to build a steady lead on the Rattlers, forcing a timeout at 18-11. The Rattlers managed to go on a few-point run, but the Clippers made no mistake in taking the second set 25-16.
The third set saw Briercrest take the first point, never surrendering the lead for the rest of the set. The Clippers played a well-disciplined game, and despite their best efforts the Rattlers could not stop Briercrest's offense nor crack their defense, losing the set 25-13. Player of the Game for the Rattlers went to second year KeAndre Evans, who recorded 15 kills and 2 digs. Player of the Game for Briercrest was libero Brady Watchel, who put up 8 digs.
On Saturday, the two teams matched up once again. The Rattlers began the first set with passion, clearly disappointed with the outcome of Friday's game, forcing two early Briercrest timeouts at 6-1 and 10-3. The Rattlers continued their barrage, widening the lead to ten points. However, the Clippers were not done yet, and began to find their groove, and the Rattlers found themselves in a desperate race to finish the set as the Clippers' momentum continued to grow. But the comeback was not meant to be, and the Rattlers were able to take the set 25-22 after Briercrest's late push. However, the Clippers took the start of the second set at a run, building off the momentum from the previous set. The Rattlers called a timeout at 8-3 Clippers lead, but it was not enough to stop the onslaught. The Clippers continued to add to their lead, capturing the set in quick order 25-11. The third set began very similar to the second, with Briercrest clearly in their rhythm and seeking to maintain their level of play. Medicine Hat once again found themselves on the defense, calling a timeout at 10-5, and once again it was not enough to stop the momentum built up by the Clippers, who took the set 25-15. The Rattlers were looking to find their groove to start the fourth set, but it was not meant to be. The Clippers had no plans of slowing down, and forced Medicine Hat timeouts at 7-2 and 19-6. Although the Rattlers exchanged points with the Clippers for the rest of the set it was not enough, and Briercrest won the fourth set 25-13. Making the presentation for Player of the Game was 2018-19 Briercrest volleyball alumnus Drew Harder. For the Rattlers, it went to libero Tanzim Mirza, who recorded 4 digs and 1 assist. For the Clippers, it went to middle TJ Ward, who put up 3 kills, 1 dig, 1 assist, and 4 blocks.
The two teams will face each other again on January 24th & 25th.