The F.H. Collins Warriors chose a good time to pick up their first win of the Supervolley season as they defeated the Porter Creek Rams 3-1 on their home floor in semifinal action on Thursday.
The Warriors began the game in excellent form. They got off to a quick start from the service line and Porter Creek was having all kinds of trouble getting their shoulders squared.
Since the Rams were unable to pass effectively they gave the Warriors plenty of free-balls to work with. F.H. made no mistake converting, setter Griffin Bisson was able to feed all the swingers for an unpredictable attack.
The Warriors built a nice 16-10 cushion as the game became more back-and-forth in the early goings.
Porter Creek started to build some momentum and chip away at the lead but Warriors player of the game Austin Shaw put an end to any run with some thunderous attacks.
The Warriors took the first set 25-21 and continued to cruise in the second.
Using their defence, the Warriors smothered the Rams usually steady offence. Porter Creek couldn’t buy a point as they either hit the ball into the net or out of bounds.
When they did connect with a clean hit, the Warriors block was there to stifle them.
Shaw continued his strong play and was a consistent force on offence as the Warriors shellacked the Rams 25-16 in the second.
Any momentum gained in the first two sets disappeared in a puff of smoke in the third. The Porter Creek attackers came alive led by Cameron Ryles and player of the game Barrett Furchner.
On defence, the Rams began picking up every ball, that is if they allowed it over.
Their block resembled a brick wall and it was three straight rejections that ended the third set 25-14 in their favour.
The teams showed lots of heart in the fourth and both were firing on all cylinders. It had everything a volleyball fan could want. Long rallies, stellar defence and booming attacks.
Neither team could grab control as they matched each other swing-for-swing. The Rams managed to string a small run together to lead 24-22. With a fifth set looming, the Warriors decided to end it there.
Shaw detailed what it’s like to play and win such a tightly contested set.
“It feels really good,” said Shaw. “We worked really hard for it. Everyone who came on the court today really put out a good effort.”
They tied the game at 24 apiece. The teams traded points but the Warriors got a cheeky tip from the middle and then an ace from Sahill Kumar to secure a berth in the finals against the Vanier Crusaders.
Shaw explained after the game what the team did differently in securing their first win.
“We really just came together as a team,” said Shaw. “Last night in practice we did a lot of gameplay drills and a lot of drills that had some pressure on them so we played good under pressure today.”
The Warriors will be looking to carry the momentum gained in the semifinals into the Friday night championship game.
“That’s the plan, that’s what we are looking forward to doing,” said Shaw. “Vanier always puts up a good fight so it will be a good game.”
Shaw believes there are still some tweaks the team needs to make if they are to achieve their championship aspirations.
“We are going to need to tighten up our game all around,” said Shaw. “Get some better blocks, better passes, just outplay Vanier because so far, they’ve been the better team.”
Although their season may not have gone according to plan, they have won when it counted.
“We are getting there,” said Shaw. “We got the silver medal in Dawson and we will see what medal we get tomorrow and if we can get a third one at Yukon champs.”
The boys’ final will be played after the girls’ game at Porter Creek.