Whitehorse Daily Star

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LOCKED IN — The Vanier Crusaders prepared to recieve serve, in their three sets to none victory over the Porter Creek Rams.

The Crusaders overcome first-set scare to beat Rams

The volleyball did not stop at Porter Creek Secondary School as the senior boys teams took to the court.

By John Tonin on October 5, 2018

The volleyball did not stop at Porter Creek Secondary School as the senior boys teams took to the court. The Vanier Crusaders avenged the loss of their girl’s team, winning all three sets, 25-23, 25-19 and 25-23, in an evenly matched contest.

The first set saw the Rams come out of the gate strong, taking a commanding 15-9 lead. The Rams appeared to be the more prepared of the two teams, as they connected on all their serves, played strong side-out volleyball and attacked the ball with force.

As the set progressed the Crusaders started chipping away at the lead, pulling within four points, as the Rams called timeout with the set at 23-19. The Rams were still getting the opportunities they had early on in the set, but the Crusaders amped up their defense lead by libero Arcel Siosan. Defense lead to offence as left-side attacker Quinn Howard, hammered two attacks onto the opponents court, leveling the score 23-23.

The Crusaders would win the next two points as their other left-side attacker, and player of the game, Sam Wanless, hit two heavy balls off the blockers hands to seal the victory, 25-23.

“We hung on,” said Wanless. “We tried our best. We came through with a couple big hits, as well as big blocks and digs.”

Crusaders head coach Dwayne Stoker attributes his team’s slow start to pre-game nerves.

“It’s all pre-game jitters, they’ve been chomping at the bit for quite awhile to just get into the game and play,” said Stoker. “They were nervous to start, they had some minor errors, but they made some good plays that made them feel better. They also had a lot of support from the guys who were off, and they battled through and came back.”

To start the second set the teams played evenly matched volleyball, with the score tied at sevens after the first timeout. The Crusaders eventually started pulling away after Thomas Janzen went on an impressive serving run, punctuated by a booming hit by Howard. With another vicious attack, Howard ended the set, 25-19.

Coach Stoker liked what he saw from his team in the second set, but he had some critiques, as he moves towards making them a well-oiled machine.

“We need to trust the other players on the floor,” said Stoker. “We also need better passing, passing was generally good, but we had a few cases of brain freeze. It’s just fine-tuning now, it will come.”

Wanless shares the same critiques as his coach as he believes his team needs to be tightening up on the basics, like passes and serves.

The third set started out sloppy for both teams, as mistakes started to compound on both sides of the net. With the set tied at 16 apiece, the Crusaders got the spark they needed, as their attacker crushed a ball, hitting his opponent in the chest.

The Rams battled back to tie the set at 23, but ultimately fell to the Crusaders 25-23.

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