Weekend preview: Kodiaks volleyball opens season with high school appreciation night

Oct. 13, 2016 – With new coaches patrolling both sidelines, the Kodiaks volleyball teams enter the new ACAC season filled with confidence.

Both the men’s and women’s teams are on their home court to open the 2016-17 ACAC season, as the team’s host Briercrest College on Friday and Saturday.

The Kodiaks men are led by first-year coach Greg Gibos, who joins the college after leading the LCI girls’ program for the past three years. Last season, the Kodiaks finished third in the ACAC south division with a 13-11 record, but lost in the opening round of the conference’s championship tournament. The Kodiaks are led by returning ACAC all-star libero Andre Pires, outside hitter Dax Whitehead and right side attacker Carter Hansen of Magrath, who is one of ten home-grown southern Albertans on the team.

Former Kodiaks assistant coach Anna Schwark, moves into the top role with the women’s team. She looks to re-build a program that went 3-21 last season and hasn’t made the ACAC championship tournament since 2007-08. With a core of returning players, the Kodiaks hope a year of college experience will help them take a step forward this year, after being the youngest club in the conference last season.

The Kodiaks and Briercrest faceoff twice this weekend. On Friday, the women’s game is at 6 p.m. and the men’s game at 8 p.m. in the Val Matteotti Gym. That night also marks junior and senior high school appreciation night. All junior and senior high schoolers, along with their chaperones, receive free admission to the game and a free BBQ for students beginning at 5:30 p.m.; students are also eligible to win one of four Kodiaks’ summer sports camp passes, each valued at $175. On Saturday, the Kodiaks and Clippers play once again, with the women’s game at 1 p.m. and the men’s game at 3 p.m.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors, youth and alumni, $3 for college employees and free for Lethbridge College students.

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The Kodiaks soccer teams will try to finish on a high note as they move towards the end of the ACAC season. The Kodiaks men’s (2-5) and women’s (1-6) teams each have a pair of home games this weekend.

On Saturday, the Kodiaks host Red Deer College. The Kings men’s team is 2-4-0, in fourth place in the ACAC south division, while the Queens women’s club is 3-0-3, in third place in the south. On Sunday, Lakeland College visits the Kodiaks. The Rustlers women’s team is 0-4-2, in last place in the south division, while the men’s side leads the south with a 5-0-1 record.

The women’s game kicks off at noon, followed by the men’s contest at 2 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday at the Servus Soccer Centre field. Admission is free for everyone. 

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The Kodiaks cross country team gets its final run in ahead of the ACAC championships, as they visit Camrose for a meet hosted by Augustana.

Both the Kodiaks men’s and women’s teams are coming off first place efforts during their last ACAC outings at Lakeland College on Sept. 24. Rachel McKenzie looks to keep her streak going as she has won gold in both ACAC competitions she has laced up for this season. On the men’s side, Boaz Korir has finished second in each of his first two races.

After this weekend, the Kodiaks are off until the ACAC championships on Oct. 29 in Grande Prairie.