Rattlers win close one over Broncos

The Medicine Hat College Rattlers played host to the visiting Olds College Broncos for the second day in a row. The Rattlers hoped to do the same thing to the Broncos as the night previous. The Rattlers needed to utilize their high powered offence to once again take the match. The Rattlers opened with four straight points and opened up an early lead. Olds scored their first point on a quick side out, but missed their serve immediately following. The Rattlers were again able to hold serve and jumped out to a 6-1 lead. the teams traded side-outs and the game moved out of the early stages. The Rattlers lead was being chipped into slowly from the visitors. With the score 10-7 the Rattlers executed a perfect side-out to regain their 4 point advantage. The Broncos responded with a quick side-out of their own. The teams continued to trade serve and side-outs with neither able to gain a distinct advantage. The Broncos staged a comeback in the middle of the set and were able to tie the set at 13. The Rattlers scored 4 straight in response to regain their advantage. As the Rattlers again extended their lead, the Broncos took a timeout with the score 19-14. Both teams missed a serve and the 5 point lead remained. As the set came to a close the Rattlers continued to lead and had a chance to serve for the set. The Broncos were able to create a side out, but it was too little too late as the Rattlers took the first set 25-21.

The second set opened with the Broncos scoring 4 straight to start, helped heavily by Rattlers Hitting errors. The teams traded side-outs and the teams looked to be settled in the Broncos still held a 4 point lead. They added to this on the next point as the Rattlers could not find anything offensively. An early 5 point lead from the Broncos would be hard to come back from if the Rattlers continued with their sloppy play. Olds lead 10-4 and scored their next point on a free ball. Finally the Rattlers showed a spark of life on a kill from Zach Frank. They were able to use this momentum to score the next two points quickly and chip into the Bronco lead. When it looked like the Rattlers had some momentum a controversial call quickly sapped the gym of energy. The Rattlers used their anger at the call and looked to turn it into momentum. Able to score points following they reduced the lead to 3. Olds responded scoring the next two and restoring the lead to 5. The Broncos continued to pull away as they approached 20. Leading 18-13 the Broncos continued to pull away. Olds continued to roll turning to Thundersky Walkingbear who was able to convert on multiple attempts. The Broncos lead 23-15 and forced the Rattlers to take a timeout. Olds came up with a big block on the next point to serve for the set. The home side was able to score 4 straight but still trailed by 6. Olds called a timeout in an attempt to seal the set before the Rattlers could mount any sort of comeback. They converted on the first play out of the break and won 25-18 making it a best of 3.

The Broncos continued their momentum into the third set scoring the first two points on poor plays from the Rattlers. The Broncos again scored on a Rattler error and took a 2 point lead. The Rattlers chipped away slowly and were able to tie the set at 6. The Broncos Walkingbear served two Aces and restored the Olds two point lead. The Broncos continued to outplay the Rattlers as they were playing great defense and not allowing the Rattler attack to get going. The Rattlers again battled back to trail by 1, 12-13 forcing the Broncos to take a timeout. The Rattlers were able to tie it at 13 on the next play. Teams traded side-outs and the score remained tied. All the way up to 17 all, neither team was able to gain an advantage. Medicine Hat converted a long rally and took their first lead of the set, only to be given right back on a missed serve. The teams remained tied at 20, and whoever committed the fewest errors in the next few points would determine the winner. The Rattlers were on the net and gave the service advantage away with the broncos leading 22-21. The Rattlers took a timeout and come out of the break able to equalize. The Rattlers took a 24-23 lead with a chance to serve for the set. The Broncos used a timeout in an effort to ice the server. The Broncos made a good side-out and tied the set at 24. Olds scored two straight to take the 3rd set 26-24.

The 4th set was a must win for the Rattlers. With playoff implications on the game, the Broncos looked to play spoiler. The Rattlers opened with a serving error, not setting a good tone early. The Broncos however came right back with a missed serve of their own. The Rattlers held an early 2 point lead up 5-3 in the early stages of the set. Another quick Rattler point and the visitors took a timeout. coming out of the break the teams traded side outs before the Rattlers expanded the lead to 4. Again an Ace allowed the Rattlers to take a 10-5 lead. Another Olds attacking error and the lead was 11-5 again forcing them to take a timeout. Again the teams traded side-outs out of the break with the Lead unchanged. The Broncos started to steal momentum and close the gap, but the Rattlers were able to stop the attack while they still led by 5. The teams continued to trade side-outs as the score climbed into the later stages of the set. When the Rattlers were running the attack through the middle they were unstoppable but the Middles were simply not getting set enough. As the Rattlers hit 20, the Broncos had 14. Another Rattler point and the lead looked too much too come back from. The teams continued to trade side-outs and the Rattlers came out ahead 25-18 tying the match at 2 sets each

The 5th and final set could possibly determine Medicine Hat's playoff fate. The set opened with the Broncos scoring two straight before the Rattlers answered. Scoring on a block the Rattlers evened the game at 2 before taking the Lead on a Bronco error. The Olds side tied it up again at 3. The Broncos came up with a huge block to take the lead back. The Home side again provided an immediate answer. Again the Rattlers took the lead and again the Broncos answered in this back and forth set. Neither team was able to grab an advantage in the first half of the last set and teams traded sides with the Rattlers leading 8-7. The teams again traded side-outs as the tight match remained close. The Rattlers took a 2 point lead at 11-9 from a Broncos Hitting error. Two Rattler errors saw the Broncos tie it again at 11. The Rattlers scored 2 straight again, forcing the broncos to take their second timeout. with the Rattlers scoring again they had a chance to serve for the set at 14-12. The Broncos scored, but the Rattlers still had a chance to side out for the win. As such the Rattlers took a timeout to ice the server and formulate a plan. The Rattlers only needed this chance and came back to win the 5th 15-13 and 3 sets to 2.