By Woodard, Dale on January 20, 2020.
Even with a winning record and an automatic berth in provincials as this year’s host, the Lethbridge College Kodiaks men’s volleyball team know they can be hungrier.
Hosting their first home games of the second half of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference season, the Kodiaks tacked on two more wins via 3-1 wins Friday and Saturday over the Olds Broncos at the Val Matteotti Gymnasium.
The wins up the Kodiaks record to 13-3 and keeps them in the hunt for top spot in the ACAC South Division, two points behind the 14-4 SAIT Trojans, but head coach Greg Gibos feels there’s always room for a little extra ‘oomph’ in his team’s attack.
“Right now we’re really working on consistency and most of the time it’s our energy, enthusiasm and our pursuit of the ball,” said Gibos. “For us, it’s being as hungry as we can for every point and I think we still need to do a bit of a better job of that. I think for us, we’re letting our emotions get into lulls and it shows. We’re not quite used to those lulls in energy. We’re going to continue to work on that and work on consistency. We’re heading into a bye week, so we have eight straight practices to get back into what we want to represent Kodiak volleyball as.”
On Saturday, the Kodiaks dropped the first set 25-19, but answered back with set wins of 25-18, 25-17 and 25-19 for their 13th victory of the season and their third in a row.
The losses put the Broncos at 4-12, but Gibos wasn’t about to read too much into that record.
“I think today goes to show you how competitive our division is,” he said. “Olds’ record isn’t a reflection of how good they are. They gave us everything we could handle for two straight days and they did the same thing with Briercrest and Medicine Hat. We’re hosting provincials here in six weeks, so our goal is to get to that one seed and be the team that can take home that banner in Lethbridge.”
The ACAC provincials take place Feb. 27-29.
“When we’re goal-setting you have instant-gratification goals and long-term goals and obviously our long-term goal is to be there at the end of provincials,” said Gibos. “So we know we need to peak that at time of year and we’re really trying to work on the little details that will allow us to do that. We only have four weeks of regular season left to kind of figure it out and I think we a little bit to do yet.”
The present met the future Saturday with the standout play of Kodiaks first-years Nolan Moes and Nash Shipton.
Moes had eight kills and two digs in Saturday’s win. Shipton added 11 assists.
“He’s doing really well,” said Gibos of Moes. “Nolan was a highly-touted first-year coming to us from Barrhead and he was someone we really identify into our program. We’re trying to work him into the ACAC, so we’ve been trying different lineups to give him a feel for things. But he’ a big, strong kid who has a bright future here. If you watch him, you see how physical he is in this gym and we’re going to look for him to be that guy to be one of our mainstays. So it’s exciting for him to come in here and perform against a good team so well especially after we had to pull him (Friday) night. So he rebounded really well and that just shows how much resiliency he has. We’re doing the same thing with Nash, who started (Saturday) as well. He’s a first-year we really believe in and we know he has a bright future in a Kodiak uniform. So we’re going to support those two guys all the way through.”
Carter Hansen led the Kodiaks with 19 kills Saturday and Michael Hummel hammered 10.
Tony Albizzati had 14 kills and Zach Wikenheiser had 31 assists.
The Kodiaks return to action Jan. 30 when the Ambrose Lions come to town.
Follow @DWoodardHerald on Twitter