By Woodard, Dale on January 20, 2020.
A lineup shift doubled as somewhat of an eye-opener for the Lethbridge College women’s volleyball team.
It’s also given them a 2-0 weekend in their first home games of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference second semester following 3-0 and 3-1 wins over the Olds Broncos Friday and Saturday at the Val Matteotti Gymnasium.
Saturday’s win not only kicked off a 4-0 day for the Kodiaks court teams as the men’s volleyball teams and women’s and men’s basketball teams also recorded wins, it doubles the women’s volleyball win total, improving them to 4-12 this season.
The Broncos are 2-14 with the losses.
On Friday, a bit of roster rotation ultimately got the Kodiaks back into the win column after 10 straight losses as first-year Kodiak Johanna Dixon got the start at setter, moving veteran Jamie Brown to left side.
It spilled over into Saturday’s game as the Kodiaks won in four sets.
Dixon added another 25 assists and also had one kill and 11 digs, while Brown led the Kodiaks with 12 kills and 18 digs.
“Jo had her first ACAC start and her first full game that first weekend in Red Deer,” said Kodiaks head coach Anna Schwark. “So this weekend was her first full weekend of league play and she did a fantastic job. She’s worked really hard to earn that court time. In order to get her on we had to find a new place for Jamie Brown and she has really excelled as a left side. She’s so athletic and dynamic that we really trust putting her anywhere. The fact she came out and was so consistent kind of makes us wonder why we didn’t try that out sooner. But she did a fantastic job just being flexible and continuing to be a leader on the team.”
Mack Lewicki chipped in with 11 kills and eight digs.
Sarah Hazen had 19 digs and LeeAnne Arnott had 10.
“It’s just a huge confidence boost,” said Schwark. “I know there is a lot of talent on this team and it’s been difficult to watch them consistently not have that confidence in the first semester. So starting the second half strong brings a lot of optimism back and a lot of confidence. We’ve kind of found our groove, it just lit that fire to keep working hard and finish the second half strong.”
After getting swept Friday, the Broncos made sure that didn’t happen Saturday, taking the second set 25-21.
“We knew that Olds would come out stronger,” said Schwark, whose team won the first set 25-14 and the third and fourth sets 25-23 and 25-18. “They made some mistakes they don’t normally make on Friday. They kind of helped us keep that consistent lead of six points, so we knew it was going to be a tougher battle on the second day and it was. They played better, had less errors and scored a ton more points. It was reaffirming our mindset that we’re only relying on ourselves and not on their errors. We knew if we stayed confident and played clean we would still be able to maintain a three-to-five point lead and that’s what we did.”
Both Kodiaks teams get a bye week this weekend before returning to face the Ambrose Lions Jan. 30 at the Val Matteotti Gymnasium before heading to Calgary Jan. 31 to complete the home-and-home series.
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