Tonight's game saw the #1 ranked team in the nation (SAIT Trojans) face the hometown Lions. This evening, the Lions were not able to upset the Trojans, falling in 3 sets, 25-16, 25-16, 25-21.
In the first set, Trojan, Jarett Noel, went down at the net with what appeared to be an ankle injury and wasn't able to return. Still, the Trojans played a strong offensive game, using a variety of other weapons forced to step up in his absence. Riley Grusing, Chris Kaiser, Tyler Latu'ila and Mark Anderson all had similar kill totals (5+) at the end of the night. Setter Maddux Greves, did a good job getting all of his attackers involved in the match, keeping the Lions block guessing.
Ambrose attackers really struggled finding their rhythm against a strong Trojan block as in the first set, they didn't manage to pick up a kill. From there their offensive numbers steadily improved as in the 2nd and 3rd set they had 7 and 9 kills respectively. This slow start offensively allowed what could have been a vulnerable SAIT team after an injury occurred to one of their starters. While the SAIT block was strong, they didn't terminate a lot of rallies with it. Rather they got a lot of soft touches on attacks allowing libero, Andrew Birchall and the rest of his team to dig a lot of attacks.
Each set, seemed to be very similar with SAIT slowing achieving a lead and then put any hope of a comeback away with a strong serving run when it really mattered. Maddux Greves led his team with 4 aces, while Tyler Latu'ila had 2 and Mark Anderson served 1 ace.
Player of the game awards were presented to Mark Anderson for the Trojans and Aiden McMillan for the Lions.
After the game, Head Coach Paul Armbruster indicated that he wasn't completely discouraged with his team, even though they got beat in straight sets.
"We faced a team tonight that played a really strong match. I was really impressed by SAIT's block defense. I thought we won the serve pass battle in the first half of the match and was happy about that. I was happy with how we passed against some increased difficulty as Greves and Latu'ila both have really strong serves. We got to continue to be resilient and continue to work hard in practice but our offense isn't where it needs to be, but I do think that we can get there."
His team has a chance to improve on their performance tomorrow night as they face the same Trojans again at 8:00pm in the Lion's Den.