Spartans hope win will keep them home
Volleyball: Strathcona-Tweedsmuir wins rematch of 2012 FAC final
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 02, 2013 10:58 am
The Strathcona-Tweedsmuir Spartans took the first step to cutting back on their mileage during the Foothills Athletic Council senior varsity girls’ volleyball season.
The Spartans beat their namesake from Strathmore 3-1 Sept. 25 at Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS).
“We lost to Strathmore in league play last year so we ended up having to go to Strathmore for the finals,” STS head coach Andrea Weber said. “So the girls were thinking we need to win this — if we make it to the final we would like to have it here.”
However, they may want to put the pedal to the metal after they were beaten for the first time in years by the Holy Trinity Academy Knights Sept. 30 at STS.
Strathmore drew first blood in the Spartan battle on Sept. 25 winning the opening game 25-18.
“I thought we dominated the first set and then we just seemed to relax,” said Strathmore Spartans coach Randall Monks. “Then Tweedsmuir started to out hustle us, they started digging balls and playing good defence and their big middle blocker (Ciara Hanly) started putting them away.
“We gave STS just too many second chances.”
STS took full advantage of those second opportunities.
STS won the next two games 25-18 and 25-20 respectively.
Strathmore appeared they would force a Game 5, when they built a 20-16 lead in the fourth. STS battled back to get to within one at 24-23 when Ciara Hanly spiked the ball for a point.
The Okotoks-area Spartans tied the game when Michaela Ostlund served an ace.
It appeared Strathmore would take the lead when one of their big hitters uncorked a rope just in front of Ostlund.
The only thing that hit the floor was Ostlund, she scooped up the rocket to keep the point going.
“I just do what ever I can to save the point,” Ostlund said. “I relied on my experience and all the practice I’ve had and kept calm.”
STS would go on to win the point to take a 25-24 lead. They would close the match when setter McKenzie Walker gave Ciara Hanly the perfect ball to dent the floor on the other side of the net for the victory.
Hanly and Walker have spent enough time on the court together they can practically read one another’s minds.
“We are definitely comfortable on the court together,” Walker said. “We definitely know how we operate. If one of us is down, we will bring each other up — boost our confidence.”
They weren’t quite as comfortable on Sept. 30 when they were surprised in five sets by the upstart HTA Knights, who improved their record to 3-0 to take first place in the council.
“It was a big win for us,” Knights coach Crystal Anderson said. “I know it’s been years since we beat them.
“This brings our games to a whole new level.”
Anderson said she was impressed how her squad did not panic after the losing the fourth set.
“We were playing with our hearts,” Anderson said. “I was never worried that we wouldn’t win that fifth set.”
In other Senior girls action in the FAC, the Oilfields Drillers proved their beating of the Foothills Falcons in last year’s playoff was no fluke. The Drillers downed the Falcons 3-2 (23-25, 17-25, 25-23, 25-20, 15-4) on Sept. 25.
Oilfields is now 2-1 in the FAC after beating Vulcan on Sept. 30.
In FAC action this week, STS hosts the Vulcan Hawks on Oct. 2.
The Drillers will take on Holy Cross Collegiate Oct. 2 in Black Diamond, both games are at 7 p.m.. The HTA Knights and the Falcons are idle until Oct. 9 when they host the Highwood Mustangs and Holy Cross, respectively, at 5:30 p.m.