June 19th, 2024

Kodiaks earn ACAC Championship berth

By Lethbridge Herald on February 17, 2023.

Herald photo by JUstin Seward Lethbridge College Kodiaks’ Claire Armstrong hits the ball back over the net just out of the reach of Medicine Hat Rattlers defenders during the play-in game on Friday at Val Matteotti Gym.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The Lethbridge College Kodiaks women’s volleyball team are off to the 2023 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Championship after sweeping the Medicine Hat Rattlers in three sets (25-12,25-18, 25-16) during the play-in game on Friday night at Val Matteotti Gym.

“Awesome,” said Kodiaks head coach Anna Schwark.

“I couldn’t have asked for them to come out and play with more passion. Like I think everybody in the stands could really feel how much we all wanted this win and how much we wanted to set a standard for ourselves. So I’m really proud — like the frog is in my throat and I’m fighting back my emotions right now because … I’m really proud of the work that they have put in. And we’ve had so many ups and downs but they get it, like they understand that they’ve got to work hard for their culture and that’s really what we’ve been focusing on.”

Schwark agreed the focus level was there with girls.

“Maybe almost a little too high at some points,” said Schwark.

“We had to tell some of them like, ‘Take your breath, calm down a little bit, an error is an error and it’s OK.’ Like focus on the good and that’s going to keep growing. We kind of got a little bit antsy focusing on a few really minor errors. But, yeah, the focus was definitely there I think.”

The Rattlers refused to go away in the third set and the Kodiaks had to be up to the task of countering their scrappy style of play.

“I think we got a little frustrated — like our left sides were just probably hitting the hardest that I’ve seen them hit from the left side down the line all season — and Medicine Hat was just eating it up down there,” said Schwark.

“They really showed no fear (and) definitely caused us a lot of frustration. That was what we talked a lot about in the timeouts that they had called. We were just saying we were getting a little frustrated, but it’s OK right. And I think too just to kind of keep ourselves motivated, despite how tough they were to score on in that third set, we kind of just refrained it like you know let’s just try to win the long game.”

Kodiaks Player of the Game went to Shane Fowlie and she was excited for the victory with her teammates.

“I think our (team) cohesiveness was really good,” said Fowlie.

“All the girls played really scrappy, hard defence. So that definitely carried us through the match and it was just awesome to see everyone play their best.”

Fowlie said everything is a little victory.

“And we just cheer for each other and support each other on the court, and I think that we’ve learned that has taken us really far in matches,” she said.

The girls will now travel to Red Deer for the Championship from Feb. 23-25.

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