George McDougall Mustangs win thrilling five-set match-up
It was a fight to the end for the Springbank Phoenix and George McDougall Mustangs, Oct. 3, in Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) ladies volleyball action.
After losing the second and third sets, George McDougall fought back to win the fourth and eventually the fifth 15-13 for its third win of the season.
The loss stymied a three-game winning streak for Springbank and while George Mac lost its previous league game in five sets to Chestermere, the win against the Phoenix came thanks to momentum from two back-to-back tournament wins. Still, the exciting win against one of the top teams in the league came as a surprise to Mustangs Head Coach James King.
“Today was completely unexpected,” he said. “This definitely shakes up the standings. People anticipated us losing to Chestermere, but I don’t know if they anticipated us losing in five. I don’t know how many people expected us to beat Springbank.
“We came out so flat in the second and third that (winning) the fourth almost needed to happen. I told the girls that we were going to five after we got hammered in the third set.”
Also unexpected was the outcome of an emergency roster move after Erin Stadnyk came in for starting setter Tory Barber, who was experiencing some medical difficulties midway through the set. Stadnyk’s play, along with a stellar game from middle Steph Beerda, kept the Mustangs’ chances to win alive.
“After that break, all of a sudden Springbank took a step back and Erin was playing with different pace and timing,” said King. “It was things they’d never seen before. We started going on a roll, Tory feels better, she comes back and then we’re moving and shaking.”
After dropping the first set to Airdrie, the Phoenix stormed back to take the second and third sets, but in the end a few mistakes cost them a win, mistakes the team’s hoping rectify as the season progresses.
“The first set was a bit slow,” McRae said. “(In the second and third sets) I think it came down to first contact. We had some good passes and our communication increased, so it was huge for us.
“It comes down to who’s making the errors at the end. We made more errors than George Mac and they played better defence when it counted. Kudos to them, they played excellent ball. We need to improve our consistency on our first contact, making sure the pass is good for our setter and cutting down on our errors.”
George McDougall visited Cochrane in week five volleyball action while Springbank hosted Chestermere, Oct. 10. Results were not available at press time.