June 18th, 2024

Kodiaks volleyball begin championship quests


By Lethbridge Herald on February 22, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE COLLEGE KODIAKS photo The Lethbridge College Kodiaks men’s volleyball team go through a practice session at Keyano College on Wednesday ahead of the 2023 ACAC Men’s Volleyball Championship on Thursday.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The Lethbridge College Kodiaks volleyball teams begin their respective Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference  Championship runs today in hopes of bringing home a gold medal by the end of Saturday.

The men’s team is going in as the second seed from the South Division and will open up against NAIT at 1 p.m. today at Keyano College in Fort McMurray.

“Yeah, it’s a week of excitement,” said men’s volleyball head coach Greg Gibos, after a practice last week.

“That’s the one nice thing about not having the play-in game is we know we’re going to championships. So we’re already starting to prep our bodies and our minds for what an ACAC Championship looks like and it’s a difficult time, right. So it’s been really good for us to start to rest, recover, as well as like really start to fine tune some of our points of our game that we know will need to be (the) best once we get up to Fort McMurray next week.”

Gibos wanted to see ball control perfected more ahead the Championship.

“So that’s what wins and loses games — especially at the highest level,” said Gibos.

“Whoever are going to pass the ball the best. We spent a little bit of time in reception and just find tuning some of those skills, as well as really just spending some mindful time working on our offence and making sure our setters and our athletes are connecting in all four zones of offence. So we want to be dynamic when we get up there and so making sure a set location and attackers are taking good aggressive runs.”

The Kodiaks will be joined by the host Keyano Huskies, NAIT Ooks, Olds College, The King’s University, Lakeland College Red Deer Polytechnic and Briercrest in a field that Gibos is pretty deep.

“But any of the teams that are going to win a playoff game are definitely able to not only just make the tournament, but win a couple of games when they get up there,” said Gibos.

“I’ve said this to other coaches, and I think it’s true, is like I think every team going up there this weekend is expected to win more than just one game. And that’s not something that can be true every single year. So I think for us, it’s going to be a really deep tournament and we’re going to have to work on some adversity and digging in on those moments because I don’t think it’s going to be a weekend where anybody wins nine straight sets.”

Gibos said it’s just all about having fun, when asked about how the boys will see success.

“And so now that we’re getting into those big pressure moments, we recognize that pressure’s a privilege,” said Gibos.

“We’re one of the lucky teams that gets to go up there. And for us, it’s just like getting to soak it all in and be a part of a championship and just starting to have those fun moments on the court together when the season’s on the line and (through)  a lot of those difficult times.”

Second-year Kodiak Adam Revet will be experiencing his first ACAC Championship and thinks there is nervousness around the teams, but there is excitement to see what happens.

“Our main goal is to have fun,” said Revet.

“We’re (at our) best when we’re having fun. But overall looking to do some damage.”

Rivet agreed that the tournament is going to be deep.

“There are so many match ups coming up that it’s a complete toss-up who you are going to see,” said Rivet.

“The South is deep, the North is deep, it’s a fun league but what we’re going to have to do is play every game like it’s our last. There’s no easy games out in Fort Mac, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to win every single game.”

As for the women’s team, they start their championship tournament in Red Deer today after riding the high of winning the play-in game on Friday night at home versus the Medicine Hat College Rattlers.

Women’s head coach Anna Schwark wants to see the girls offence be quick, but at the same time want to be able to defend fast balls.

“I think we’ve trained so much (in) serve-receive and that won’t change,” said Schwark.

“We’re going to keep making sure that we’re passing every ball and staying in system on first contacts all the time. So I think for right now, it’s just not necessarily coasting but just even  getting one per cent better every day. Like we’re not looking for huge dramatic changes. We’ve just got to stay on our game and tomorrow, try to  be better than we were today and everyday moving forward.”

Schwark thinks it’s going to be a cool experience going to the Championship.

“I don’t want to go into this thinking, ‘Well if we don’t get it, that’s OK, we’ll be back next year.’ Because we might not be.” said Schwark.

“The league is so strong right now and I know we’re going to be stronger, but so is everybody else.”

The Kodiaks will open their tournament today at 1 p.m. against The King’s University.

Other team’s include University of Alberta- Augustana, Ambrose University, Keyano College, Briercrest and Lakeland College.

Tournament information can be found at acac.ab.ca under the championships tab.

Both Championships run Feb. 23-25.

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