The Olds College Broncos Men's volleyball team lost to the Red Deer Queens 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 23-25, 25-19) in the Make Some Noise for Mental Health Game Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Ralph Klein Centre.
The scoring started off pretty standard for the both teams until Ryzen Walkingbear put in a massive hit from the left side completely uncontested that fueled the Broncos take the lead earlier on. Red Deer was still getting warmed up however as they went on a streak of their own which brought the score to 18-9. The Broncos were not going to give up easy however with Ryzen Walkingbear continuing to put in powerful hits that the opposition couldn't handle and the rest of the Broncos passing very well and hustling for every point possible. They experimented with their lineup a little bit as Thundersky Walkingbear was not there to provide that extra touch the team had been so accustomed to seeing. The score finished 25-14 after the first set.
The second set started somewhat favorable for the Red Deer Kings as they were really starting to figure out the position of the blocks on both sides and were able to get in position to defend and pass the ball to the attackers that were the most open. Despite the Red Deer's strong start the Broncos were never far behind. The most notable players for the start of this set was Matheus Franca who was putting some killer left hand hits down the Red Deer side as well as getting in the faces of the Red Deer hitters even grabbing a couple important blocks, and Mason Muller who was putting his passes in all the right places as well as playing some front court defense forcing the Red Deer offense to change some of their approaches. Around the halfway mark of the set the score was 15-13 for the Kings. After the Kings earned a couple of points in a row the Broncos decided to call their first timeout. This would prove quite fruitful as the Broncos had fought back to be back within two late into the set. Red Deer's height and reach however was continuing to be a problem for the Broncos as the blocks would have to be precise and perfect to stop the Red Deer's advances. The set finished 25-19 for the Red Deer Kings in a close battle towards the end.
The third set seemed as if it were a formality until the Broncos started to give RDC nothing easy and longer rallies began to occur with less of a clear winner until the final touch. The Broncos were down again to start but after they called their first timeout they seemed to help them bring back the spirit they always demonstrated so well. Aside from a few serving errors both receiving and delivering the Broncos were in the game only trailing by 8-6. The teams stayed consistent trading points and staying within a couple points for the first half of the set. The Kings took a very brief extended lead until the Broncos started to take their points through their powerful hitters the majority coming from Ryzen Walkingbear and Braden Bates. The Red Deer side was eventually forced to call a timeout as the Broncos finally tied the score back at 16 aside. After Red Deer started the scoring again, the teams would trade points again until the Broncos took the lead for the first time in the set at 20-19. Red Deer were coaxed into putting their starters back on as the Broncos tied it up again at 21. After going back and forth the Broncos had the lead and serve in hand as the Broncos called the second timeout of the quarter with Olds leading 24-22. After the Broncos iced the Red Deer's server with a timeout to spare, the Broncos would go on to take the set with a finesse tip from Ryzen Walkingbear set up by Mason Muller to take the set 25-23.
It was obvious that this game was now up for grabs, and both teams were playing like they had no intention of giving anything up. The momentum kept shifting back and forth with neither team being able to keep a streak going for more than a few points. The Broncos called the first timeout at 13-7 for the Kings. The energy was there on both sides, the RDC squad was just putting in some very strong hits and blocks from every side of the net. Olds was also getting some unlucky touches and movements but with a different lineup than they had seen so far today, their rhythm together took a little bit longer to gel than the first sets. When they did put it altogether they started to put on a show with unreturnable hits coming from everyone on the court as well as passing very well against the strong hits the RDC attack was supplying. After RDC was up 20-11, the Broncos managed to bring the score back to 24-19, where Red Deer decided to call their second timeout of the set and took the set 25-19.
The Player of the Game for the Red Deer Kings, with 33 assists 3 kills 3 blocks, was 3 Tom Wass, and your Broncos Pit Barbeque Player of the game with 7 kills was River Thomas.
The leaders for the game for kills was the Ryzen Walkingbear with 10, Mason Muller with 20 assists, Jesse Stoddart with a game high 12 digs, Braden Bates with a game high four blocks and Phillip Sutherland with the lone aces for Olds.
The Broncos led the game in in digs 62-17. RDC held the edge in kills 44-38, assists 39-35, and aces 8-1. Both teams had 11 blocks.
The Broncos Men host Ambrose next on Friday, February 21st at 8pm, for the Graduating Student-Athlete Appreciation/Parent Appreciation Night.
To learn more about Olds College, the Olds College Broncos and the volleyball teams go to gobroncos.ca; like the Facebook page and follow @OldsBroncos on Twitter and Instagram.