Saturday recap - WVB playoff hopes dashed; MVB completes sweep

Feb. 12, 2017 - The Kodiaks wrapped up their “Make Some Noise for Mental Health” promotional weekend on Saturday night, with volleyball hosting Ambrose at the Val Matteotti Gym and basketball visiting Medicine Hat on the road. It was a crucial night for the women’s volleyball squad, who needed to produce a victory to keep their playoff hopes alive.

 

WVB | Playoff hopes dashed by Lions

The Kodiaks women’s volleyball team came into the weekend with high hopes of catching Ambrose for the fourth and final playoff spot in the ACAC south division. Instead it was the Lions that took charge, eliminating Lethbridge from playoff contention with a straight sets 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-19) victory Saturday.

As they did on Friday night, the Lions set the tone with strong play out of the gate, blitzing out to a quick lead in the first set. The Kodiaks struggled with communication around the net early, committing costly unforced errors in helping the Lions build a 14-7 lead. Lethbridge did regain form later in the first set, but the Lions lead was too much to overcome. 

Ambrose rushed out to a second set lead as well, but this time the Kodiaks were able to storm back from down six to tie the match at 16-16, buoyed by the strong serve of Lindsay Glas. Just when it appeared the tide was turning, the Lions answered the Kodiaks rally with eight straight points, stunning the Kodiaks while securing a second set victory.

Lethbridge pushed hard with their backs against the wall in the third set, but the Lions consistent play proved to be too much to overcome as they secured the straight sets win.

Kristine Ward led the Kodiaks with 13 kills on the night, while libero and current Kodiaks Athlete of the Week Reina Hirata led the team with 12 digs.

Despite the sudden end to their playoff push, the Kodiaks (6-16) have shown remarkable progress this season and have a promising future ahead of them. They will conclude their season with a home-and-home series against the Medicine Hat Rattlers next weekend, starting with a 6 p.m. match at home on Friday night.

 

MVB | 3-1 win secures season sweep of Ambrose

Andre Pires led the Kodiaks with 13 digs, while Carter Hansen and Tony Albizzati paced the attack with 11 and 10 kills respectively in a 3-1 (22-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-18) Lethbridge victory over the Ambrose Lions Saturday night.  

The Lions came out hard in taking the first set, limiting the Kodiaks to just five kills in taking an early lead. Lethbridge was able to bounce back in set two by landing .550 of their attack attempts, and then held on for a nailbiting third set victory. The Kodiaks maintained a slight advantage throughout most of the third set, building a 24-20 lead. A furious late Lions rally gave Lethbridge a scare on set-point, but an anti-climatic missed serve secured the set for the Kodiaks.

Lethbridge then used a strong service game in the fourth set to seal the victory, despite Ambrose landing an attack percentage of .435.

Michael Hummel had a strong night for the Kodiaks, striking for a .636 attack percentage with eight kills, while Zach Wickenheiser picked up 39 assists, a game high.  

Both teams were playing for pride, having been eliminated from playoff contention the previous week. The Kodiaks (10-12) wrap up the home portion of their 2016-17 season with a match against the Medicine Hat Rattlers on Friday. It will be a good test for the Kodiaks, with the Rattlers currently ranking tenth in the nation. First serve will go at 8 p.m.  

 

WBB | Turnovers key as Kodiaks cruise in Medicine Hat

The Kodiaks took care of business Saturday with an 81-44 victory in Medicine Hat, putting themselves on the cusp of securing another ACAC south division title.

Taking care of the ball was a huge key to the Kodiaks success against their Highway 3 rival this weekend. Medicine Hat committed 33 turnovers on Saturday, while the Kodiaks surrendered the ball just 13 times. Amy Arbon led Lethbridge with five of the team's 22 steals.

The Kodiaks (17-0) scored 80 or more points for the thirteenth time in 17 conference games this season, despite going just 3-16 from beyond the three-point arc. Sunder West paced the offence with a 27-point performance, while Logan Moncks chipped in 22 points. Emma Lowry again led the team on the glass with seven rebounds.

The Kodiaks will engage in a crucial home-and-home with second place St. Mary’s next weekend, starting with a road game in Calgary on Friday night. One victory will secure the south division crown for Lethbridge.  

 

MBB | Kodiaks drop close contest to Medicine Hat

The Kodiaks men’s basketball team dropped their second consecutive game to Medicine Hat on Saturday, despite being within striking distance of knocking off the third-ranked Rattlers.

The Kodiaks (12-5) kept pace with the Rattlers throughout what was a tough defensive battle. After surrendering 59 first half points on Friday, Lethbridge limited their Highway 3 rival to just 33 points through two quarters on Saturday. Lethbridge was able to hang close all game, and had cut the Rattler's lead to 54-51 with just minutes to go. They were unable to complete the comeback, as Medicine Hat eventually took over in crunch time to win by a final of 68-56.

Lethbridge improved greatly on their performance from the previous night, particularly in the way they took care of the ball. They won the turnover battle 19-14, a marked improvement from Friday’s game in which the Kodiaks surrendered the ball 21 times. The Kodiaks could not keep up with the Rattler’s precision shooting, however, as Medicine Hat shot 40.4% (21-52), including 50% (6-12) from beyond the arc.

Rory Russell had another impressive game coming off the bench, leading the Kodiaks in scoring with 12 points. Cory Richardson followed up his triple-double performance Friday with a double-double on Saturday, collecting 11 points and 10 assists. Chris Maughan also added 11 points and a game-high seven blocks.

Lethbridge will look to get back on track against St. Mary’s in a home-and-home next weekend. The Kodiaks will be fighting for playoff positioning the rest of the way, having already clinched a spot in the conference championships. Lethbridge currently sits fourth in the ACAC south division, just two points back of Red Deer with two games in hand. 

 

Kodiaks wrap up Make Some Noise for Mental Health weekend

Saturday night marked the successful conclusion of the "Make Some Noise for Mental Health" weekend hosted by the Kodiaks, with another 250 fans in attendance given free "Make Some Noise" branded noisemakers courtesy of RBC, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and the ACAC. 

“Make Some Noise” is an ACAC conference-wide awareness campaign to break stigmas around mental health. By involving student-athletes, the campaign is intended to encourage empathy, understanding and open mindedness while promoting resources and support available on campuses and in their communities. Promotional materials with mental health facts and support services information were available for fans throughout the weekend.