Falcons dig regaining FAC crown

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Foothills captured the first important banner of the season, now the Falcons and the Holy Trinity Academy Knights will battle for the next one.

The Foothills Falcons reclaimed the Foothills Athletic Council banner by downing the defending champion Knights 3-1 (25-12, 20-25, 25-12, 25-16) in the Senior boys volleyball final Nov. 8 at the Crescent Point Regional Field House.

“Our defence was really good and our serving was exceptional — making it very hard for HTA right from first contact,” said Falcons head coach Matt Armstrong. “The second set we had a bit of a lull, but we built up some steam near the end of the set and that carried us through.”

The Falcons had won the six previous FAC banners prior to the Knights capturing it last season.

The two teams will square up again at the 4A South Central zones Nov. 17-18 at the Comp.

In the FAC final, the Falcons were digging out balls like clammers in the tacky Elvis flick Clambake — some dirty work but resulting in sweet music at the end.

Falcons libero Noah Matsubara might have skin from his knuckles left on the floor he got down so low to dig out Knights’ spikes.

“I was a little shaky the second set, but overall it was one of my better matches, got it into a groove and get the rhythm,” Matsubara said. “Make sure I get the ball up and give an easy ball for my setter (David Kent-Canalejo) to make the set so we can get a point.”

Kent-Canalejo made ideal sets to hitters Kyle Tarasoff, Quinn Tocheniuk, Matt Greenshields and co. who launched missiles on to the open court

Foothills rebounded from their second-set loss to dominate the final two games.

The Falcons clinched the title when Tarasoff’s spike from the left side caromed off the arms of a pair of HTA blockers for the 25-16 win in the clinching fourth set.

He said winning the first set, helped set the tone for the match.

“It’s good to win the first set like that to get the confidence going,” Tarasoff said. “Tonight we had really good passing which made it easy to run our offence.”

Knights coach Fritz Peters admitted the Falcons dominated the final.

“They are a very scrappy team, they don’t let anything hit the floor — they always have someone going after the ball,” Peters said. “For us tonight, not so much.”

The Knights gained some experience in the final.

“I had to use a lot of my Grade 10s tonight, I had one kid who was injured, Ryan (Peters) is still sick, so I have to give a lot of credit for our Grade 10s who stepped in and played on a senior team.”

Those Grade 10 players are Calvin Herr, Yvan Janaban and Noah Gutek.

Knight power Isaiah Michel said they weren’t able to contain the Falcons big hitters.

“The second set was the only set we played well but we didn’t play our best, the reason we won was because they didn’t play their best,” said Michel, who plays with a handful of Falcons in the Foothills Volleyball Club. “(For zones) we have to maintain our positive energy. Tonight we played like we had already lost.”

Foothills is hosting zones on a high. They were third at the highly touted Hunting Hills tournament in Red Deer on Nov. 4. They beat Edmonton’s Paul Kane Blues in the third place game.

Encouraging, but yesterday’s news.

“We don’t want to take anything for granted,” said Armstrong. “We still have a lot of work to do. HTA is a strong crew and we have to be ready for what might be a different team at zones.”

Foothills blanked the Lakers at the Falcon Classic in late October.

Both Armstrong and assistant coach Brett Carter won FAC banners as players with the Comp in the 2000s.

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