Rattlers Volleyball vs RDC - Men Earn Split, Women Drop Two

Jovan Stepanovic vs RDC Nov 15-16, 2019
Jovan Stepanovic vs RDC Nov 15-16, 2019

Women's Volleyball on Friday night:

The Red Deer Queens stepped into the Snake Pit to take on the Rattlers, winners of their last 4 straight. Hoping to continue the trend, the Rattlers looked to take advantage of home court and come away with a win in the opener of the weekend series. The teams opened by trading side outs on the first points of the set. The Queens from here started to take control of the set and dominated with their offence. Able to execute very well they were able to jump out to a 17-9 lead, forcing the rattlers to take a timeout. Things did not get any better for the home side as the Queens continued to dominate making quick contacts and finishing fast. Also able to pass up more of the Rattlers attacks, the Red Deer squad quickly won the first set 25-15.

The second set started much like the first. Red Deer was able to control the play again through perfect offensive execution and a strong defensive side. They again jumped out to an impressive early lead. up 12-4 and forced the Rattlers to call a timeout in an effort to grasp at anything. The Queens looked calm and collected and just went about their business on the court. With terrible efficiency the Queens tore through the Rattlers D, only giving up points on a very few errors. During the middle of the set the Rattlers started to mount a comeback. Able to chip away slowly the Rattlers narrowed the margin to 4 trailing 18-22 and forced the queens to call a timeout. As the back and forth continued the Rattlers faced a 24-22 deficit, calling a timeout in an effort to ice the server. This worked as the Rattlers battled back to take a 25-24 lead and forced the Queens to take their second timeout. A marathon set filled with a couple long battles and key momentum points won each way. The RDC queens took the set 29-27 in an extremely close battle.

The Queens opened the set looking hot again but the Rattlers answered firmly to tie the set at 4 aver starting 3-0 down. From here the teams traded points until 8 all and the home side started to finally click. This along with some Red Deer errors added up to a decent Rattlers lead as the game entered the later stages. They were up 18-10 and pulling away, this forced the Queens to take a timeout in an effort to stem the bleeding. The Rattlers looked to capitalize as all they needed was to trade side outs for a victory. The Queens started to chip away like the rattlers last set, but still trailed 23-17 late in the set. but it was too little too late as the home side took the third 25-17.

The fourth set started looking like the Rattlers would easily take the set. opening up a 4-0 lead they looked sharp early. the Queens immediately responded and went on a 8-1 run opening up a 9-5 lead. the rattlers battled back and chipped away slowly in a back and forth game they were down by 5 but battled back to tie the set at 15 before the Queens pulled ahead 19-16 forcing the Rattlers to call a timeout. This didn't help as the queens pulled further away 23-17 forcing the Rattlers to take their second break. The Queens were able to put the Rattlers away winning 25-19 and taking a 3-1 sets victory.

Saturday Afternoon:

The Red Deer Queens were back in town for the second half of a double header against the Medicine Hat College Rattlers. The Queens won the night before 3-1 so the home side was looking for revenge. Dressed in black the Rattlers were able to trade side-outs with the queens on the first two points. From here Red deer in white came alive scoring the next 3 points. Medicine Hat responded before the Queens again broke the Rattler serve. The Rattlers did not roll over like the night previous, instead were fighting hard to stay within striking distance of the Queens. The Queens started to open another small lead in the middle of the set, they rattled off a few straight serves to take a 16-12 lead, prompting the Rattlers to take a timeout. The Home side came out of the break with three quick points to reduce the deficit to 1. The continued with their strong play scoring another 3 points to take an 18-16 lead late in the first set. the Queens battled back to tie the set at 20 in a very back and forth affair. After losing their lead, the Rattlers took their second timeout down 22-21. The Queens were able to keep the advantage out of the break resulting in a 2 chances for the set. Medicine Hat won the first point but needed to hold serve to level the set at 24. The Queens were able to convert on offence, taking the first set 25-23. 

Disappointed with the first set result, the Rattlers came out swinging hard on the first point of the set. RDC was able to respond in the same way seconds later. The Queens again jumped out to an early lead, executing on offence with efficiency. Able to double the score 6-3 the Queens once again looked very strong early. the Rattlers started to close the gap but a momentum killing call on a controversial ball on the line allowed the Queens to retake their lead, up 11-7. Continuing to build on their momentum going up 7-14. The Rattlers called a timeout and came out of the break scoring 2 quick points. Red Deer responded back again with another flurry of points going up 17-10. With tons of room the Queens looked to turn on cruise control and took advantage of their powerful offence. After a very close first set the Queens were able to put the Rattlers away easily 25-14 taking a 2-0 lead.

The third set opened with a close call on the first point resulting in a Rattlers point. Meagan Hoeber of Medicine hat followed it up with 2 aces to open the set with a 3-0 lead. the Queens got back in the set and were able to erase the Rattlers lead and tie the set at 4. From here the Rattlers responded with captain Amber Stigter serving, able to score 4 straight taking back their lead. Again, Red Deer responded but this time the Rattlers were able to hold them off. Trading side-outs the Rattlers maintained their lead, up 13-8 they forced Red Deer to take a timeout. The Queens started to battle back but any time they made ground the Rattlers responded. Able to maintain their lead through the middle of the set, Medicine Hat found themselves with a 18-13 lead entering the later stages of the set. Trading side-outs and points the Rattlers were content to just hold on to their lead. Winning a long rally, the Rattlers were able to keep the momentum in the gym and their 21-16 lead. After being called out of rotation twice in a row the Rattlers had lost a big portion of their lead only up 21-19. The home side took a timeout in an effort to regroup and maintain their lead. The Rattlers were able to stay ahead of the Queens 23-20 forcing the visitors to take their second timeout. The Rattlers came out of the break and score on 2 straight to take the third set 25-20.

The fourth set started with the teams trading side-outs on the first two points of the set. Continuing with the trend, the teams continued to trade points and serves until a Queens error gave the Rattlers the service advantage they held a 7-6 lead early. Every point in the early going was tightly contested with only a few mistakes from each side. The Queens were able to take advantage of these errors and jumped out to a 9-7 lead before the Rattlers responded. Red Deer again extended their lead 13-11 and were again looking as if they were controlling the pace. They gained further control of the score expanding the lead to 16-11 forcing the Rattlers to take a timeout. The Rattlers continued to struggle coming out of the break with the Queens scoring 3 straight and opening a 19-11 lead. scoring again on a block, the Queens had a 9 point advantage as they entered the late stages of the set. The Rattlers started to battle back late and were able to narrow the margin, after losing part of their lead, the Queens called a timeout up 23-17. The Queens scored the next two and took the 25-17 victory in 3 sets to 1.

The ACAC Players of the game were, Tess Pearman from RDC and Brooke Christie from MHC

In men's action Friday night:

The Red Deer Kings headed into the snake up to take on the Medicine Hat College Rattlers. The 5-1 kings hoped to put away the 1-7 Rattlers but the Rattlers were on their home court. The home side was able to build an early lead in the first half of the set, up 13-8 they looked to jump out to an early lead. The Kings, hoping to prevent further damage called a timeout. The Kings were able to battle their way back slowly through the set and trailed by only 2, 23-21, again using a timeout in a hope to battle back into the set. the Rattlers were too much, and were able to take a first set victory 25-23.

The intensity of the second set ramped up big as the Nationally ranked Kings dropped the first set. The Kings did not want to lose this crucial second set and  the Rattlers hoped to put a stranglehold on the match. The game was fast, high flying, and very even as the score flip flopped its way up the scoreboard. With the teams knotted at 19, it was anyone's game. The Rattlers scored the next point taking a 20-19 lead, forcing the visitors to burn a timeout. In the set the Kings received 2 red cards which allowed the Rattlers to open up a 22-19 point lead late. the Kings battled back to 22-23 before a missed serve gave the rattlers a set point. The Kings took their second timeout in order to ice the server. The Rattlers aced the next serve and took a 25-22 second set victory.

The Third set started with the teams trading points and timeouts. The Rattlers started to struggle to put the ball on the floor and the Kings took advantage jumping out to a 14-10 lead. this saw the Rattlers take an early timeout in an attempt to swing momentum back their way. The Rattlers were able to battle back within one, before the Kings again pulled ahead. Down 19-22 Medicine Hat called a timeout in their last attempt to steal the third set away. The Kings were able to win going away, taking the third 25-20 in the biggest margin of the day.  

The fourth set started with a flurry from both sides. Neither team giving an inch the tight game battled back and forth the whole way up the score sheet. Efficient offence was the game of the day, as both sides used their power to break through the teams were very even the whole way with the score tied at 17. The Rattlers scored 2 straight forcing the Kings to take a timeout. From here the Rattlers sacrificed the first point, but scored 2 straight after taking a 21-18 lead. the teams traded side-outs and the rattlers held a 2 point lead late. the Kings scored the next point and the Rattlers called a timeout leading 22-21. The Kings scored 2 straight out of the break and took a 23-22 lead only to be tied a second later. With the kings up 24-23 and serving for the set, the Rattlers took their second timeout. The marathon game ended at 28-26 with the Kings evening the match at 2 sets each.

The fifth set looked much like the first 4. A very even matchup between the teams. Some very close calls went in favor of the Kings late in the set and they found themselves holding a 13-9 lead. The Rattlers called a timeout in an effort to change the game momentum. With the kings scoring the first points out of the break, the 14-9 lead looked too much for the rattlers to come back from. And the Kings were able to pull off the Comeback all the way from 2 sets down to win the fifth 15-10.

And on Saturday afternoon:

In a 5 set thriller the night before, the Red Deer College Kings returned to the Snake Pit in an attempt to sweep the weekend over the Medicine Hat College Rattlers. The Rattlers hoped for a different result than the night previous after they lost a 2-0 set lead. The first set opened with the teams trading points on the first two of the game. Both teams made mistakes early giving away opportunities, but the score remained tight early. neither team able to breakthrough with momentum, the game was minimizing your own errors to maximize points. the Rattlers held the tiniest of leads 9-7 as the set moved into the middle stages. The Rattlers extended their lead again opening up a 12-8 lead and forcing the reeling Kings to take a timeout.  The Kings used this break to their advantage to get a quick side-out, only to be answered by the Rattlers. Back and forth the Set continued as the score climbed slowly up through the middle stages. The Kings started to close the gap slowly, but the Rattlers continued to hold a small lead, up 18-15. They were able to again expand the lead and took a 21-16 lead, forcing the Kings to take a timeout. As the set came to a close, the Rattlers were able to put the ball away and took a 25-21 first set victory.

The second set started very much like the first. The teams traded side-outs early as the game remained deadlocked. At 4-4 the Kings started a run of 4 doubling the Rattlers before they could respond. From here the teams again traded side-outs as Red Deer held an advantage as the game moved into the middle part of the set. The tight match was a back and forth affair with the momentum swinging both ways on big hits and blocks. The Kings lead was down to 2, 14-12 before a Keandre Evans Kill brought the Rattlers back within one. A big block from Kings Mark DeWit restored the 2 point lead for the visitors. With the score 20-18, the Rattlers needed to do something fast if they wanted to steal the set back. With a Keandre Evans kill and a good serve from Nathan Chernik the Rattlers found themselves down 1, 20-21 forcing the Kings to take a timeout. They were able to score fast out of the break restoring their slight lead, only to be answered once again by the Rattlers. The Rattlers scored again and tied the set at 22. With the Kings winning the side-out the Rattlers called a timeout in an attempt to ice the server. With two back to back points, the Rattlers took their fist lead, 24-23 now forcing the Kings to take a timeout. With the set tied at 24 we would need extra points, but an ace from Carter Hills gave the Kings the chance to serve for the set. The Rattlers again tied it and scored the next 2 taking a 27-25 second set victory.

Leading 2-0 again, The Rattlers hoped to finish the game here rather than give the Kings a chance to get back in the game. The Rattlers opened the third set serving for the first two points. Holding a slight lead early the Home side were up early, with the Kings right on their heels. The Rattlers continued to push however and opened up a 7-3 lead. Red Deer responded with a quick two points before the Rattlers responded with a big block. The Kings kept chipping away slowly as the score climbed up the board and quickly had reduced the lead to 1. The score remained like this for a few points as the teams traded points until Red Deer tied the set at 10. Still very even, the teams continued to trade points and serves with no clear advantage in the mid part of the set. the Rattlers were running a very effective offence through Jovan Stepanovic who killed a tough ball and followed it up with an ace giving the Rattlers the lead. The Kings came right back with two of their own, able to one again tie the set at 16. With two more the visitors took a 18-16 lead late in the set. After another quick point, the Kings extended their lead to 3, 20-17. The Rattlers called a timeout in an effort to regroup and come back once again. The Kings were able to convert coming out of the break, and again increased the lead. The Rattlers narrowed the lead to 1, 21-22 and forced the Kings to take a timeout. Red Deer scored a quick 2 points out of the break and held a 24-21 lead with a chance to serve for the game. They were able to hold on to win 25-21 and force a 4th set.

The 4th set opened with the Rattlers jumping out to a quick 3-1 lead with the help of a Jovan Stepanovic ace. The Kings quickly erased the deficit to tie it at 4 before taking the lead on a block. The teams looked to be very evenly matched with the score bouncing back and forth always remaining close. The score was 12-10 Rattlers as the set hit the midway point. After another block from the Rattlers and a 13-10 lead, the Kings took their first timeout. They were able to close the gap slightly but still trailed by 2. The evenly matched teams were so close that every point was crucial. The Kings tied the set at 15 before the Rattlers answered with a big Jonas Enns kill. Stepanovic was able to follow it up with another Rattlers kill to regain their small cushion. Very short lived, the Kings responded right away and scored on a Rattler error to even it at 17. The Rattlers regained their cushion again on a Keandre Evans ace. Adding again to the lead the Rattlers led 21-18 forcing the Kings to take a timeout. Out of the timeout, the Rattlers took the next point and held their lead as the teams traded side-outs again. The Rattlers were able to hang on for a 25-20 win and a 3-1 set victory.

The ACAC Players of the game were Tom Wass for RDC and Jovan Stepanovic for MHC