June 16th, 2024

Kodiaks women’s volleyball gets back on the winning track

By Dale Woodard on February 4, 2022.

The Lethbridge College Kodiaks women’s volleyball team served up a little redemption.

Just in time, too, given the hectic weekend that lies ahead.

The Kodiaks downed the Olds Broncos 3-1 in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference play Thursday night at the Val Matteotti Gymnasium.

After falling behind 1-0 with a 25-22 loss, the Kodiaks rolled to 25-17, 25-16 and 25-11 wins to grab the decision, improve to 7-3 – good for second place in the South Division – and now get ready for two more games Saturday and Sunday in Calgary against the SAIT Trojans.

Thursday’s win also gets the Kodiaks back on the winning track after a 3-1 loss to the Ambrose Lions Saturday night in Calgary.

On Thursday night, Kodiaks veteran Jamie Brown dished out 15 kills, 11 digs and four blocked shots, while fellow veteran Mack Lewicki – returning from a hand injury suffered last weekend against the Ambrose Lions – added nine kills, five service aces and nine digs.

“I think tonight was a redemption from Saturday,” said Brown. “Saturday, we came out pretty flat. So we wanted to come out fired up tonight. I think we just needed a fire under our butts.”

The Kodiaks had to find a little fire early Thursday after the Broncos took the first set.

“I think we needed to remember our passion and why we’re here and why we love to play the sport,” said Brown. “That’s what got us back in the game and it was pretty smooth sailing.”

Johanna Dixon and Elyse Doble each added 12 digs in Thursday’s win.

Aideena Wickstrom added three service aces for the Kodiaks.

“I was a little worried in that first set,” said Kodiaks head coach Anna Schwark. “We just came out really flat and I think it was because our pre-game was pretty flat. We didn’t practise that great this afternoon. But the good thing is the girls are mature enough to be able to realize that’s happening and make the change now. We have the leadership that is able to call it out, address it and fix it. I think it was just their initiative and their willingness to make the change that did it.”

Led by some big swings from Brown and Lewicki, as well as some key digs when they needed them, the Kodiaks were able to fashion a comeback.

“They did fantastic,” said Schwark of her veterans. “Jamie came out really strong. We knew she was going to have a good night from the first three points. She’s working out a lot and she’s jumping really big when she’s swinging. That was really great to see.

“Mack is feeling really good, but I can imagine playing with some stitches that it’s a little tough mentally to be comfortable. But overall she did great. We got Reia (Taylor) in there just to give her a little bit of a break because we’re going to have a tough two weeks with so many matches. We just have to make sure we’re not overworking (Lewicki’s) fingers. But she’s just steady all the time and she brought really good energy. So I was really happy about that.”

Now the Kodiaks women’s and men’s teams head to Calgary Saturday and Sunday to face the Trojans.

The Kodiaks are two points up on the 6-6 Lions and four ahead of the 5-3 Briercrest Clippers.

The 13-0 Red Deer Polytechnic Queens are solidly in first in the South.

Brown noted it’s fun to be in the playoff chase near the top of the standings.

“We haven’t been up there in a few years, we’ve been pretty young. So now we’ve put in the work I’m excited to see where that goes and hopefully we get these girls to the playoffs.”

More points this weekend will help that cause with the fifth place Trojans (4-8) on the slate.

“I think this weekend is going to be really big for us,” said Schwark. “Obviously our standings are going to based a lot on the next two games this weekend against SAIT. This just gives us that confidence boost to go into SAIT and hopefully come out with another couple of ‘W’s’ We’re really excited.”

In the men’s game Thursday night, the 7-3 Kodiaks were taking on the 4-6 Broncos.

A score was unavailable at press time.

The Kodiaks went into the game in third place in the South, two points back of the 8-2 Clippers and two head of the 6-4 Trojans in a battle for the second, third and fourth seeds.

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