For the senior Broncs girls volleyball club, a win at home kept the team in the running for zones.
The Ponoka Broncs played Red Deer’s St. Joseph High School Falcons Oct. 12 with a strong home crowd cheering the Broncs to a 3-0 match finish. The Broncs set scores were 25-23, 25-18 and a close 26-24 against the Falcons with player experience giving Ponoka the edge.
It was the third set that put the Broncs’ resolve to the test with the Falcons finding energy and drive to gain some momentum. Coach Ron Labrie called a timeout when the Falcons managed to make a small 18-15 lead.
“The whole match was just about who was putting pressure on who,” said Labrie. “Because nobody was really dominating in any way.”
He expressed to the team the need to get the momentum back by creating solid pass and hit opportunities. “When you’re that close in the game…everything is magnified exponentially.”
The Falcons’ hustle and determination to return the ball did cause a disruption in the Broncs’ defence. Labrie said that created a need to focus in the last set.
His timeout pep-talk worked and the Broncs were able to claw their way back to being within one point of the Falcons, who managed to stay one point ahead until it came to a 24-point tie game.
When it comes to volleyball, the shift can be quick and Labrie says communication is paramount to staying on top of those shifts.
At this point, in the set, it was the Broncs’ experience that helped them stay cool under pressure to secure the win. “I would say it helped us in the first set and it helped us in the second set,” said Labrie.
The Falcons are a new team to the league with a developing volleyball program. Labrie credits Falcons’ coach Sherry Schulzke for her dedication to the players and the program. “They’re just getting better.”
The Broncs player of the match award went to number 1 Kennedy Hackett.
“She had some tough shots and she made those tough shots. When it’s close like that you’re always looking for who’s going to rise to the occasion,” said Labrie.
He added that the team is working on consistent serving and with a current record of 2-2 the Broncs hope to serve up more wins.
The JV squad also walked away with a solid three-set win against the Falcons’ JV team.