Broncos Spoil Olson's Debut for Rattlers

The Olds College Broncos headed into the Snake Pit to take on the Medicine Hat College Rattlers. Former Bronco and Rattler Tyler Olson was making his Head Coaching Debut in a match that featured both teams from his playing days. With both teams at 3-9 the weekend was an important determining factor for both teams going forward. The first set opened with both teams trading side-outs with both teams coming out scoring on scramble plays. The Rattlers from here took some control scoring the next two and jumping out to a 4-1 lead. Olds were able to start the side-outs again but the Rattlers once again gained control thanks to some great defense. Once Medicine Hat had jumped out to a 9-4 lead, the visiting Broncos took a timeout to try and stem the wound. They were able to score two quick coming out of the break before the Rattlers could once again respond. From here they responded quickly and got their lead back to 12-7 before again losing the serve. The Broncos continually tried to get their big players involved but were not always making the best sets in the process. In the middle of the set Olds started to chip away at the lead, but every time they got close the Rattlers had an answer. With the score 20-16, the Rattlers only needed to hold on and trade serves to take the first set. Medicine Hat was able to do just this and took the first set 25-19 taking the first set.

The Second set started again with both teams claiming a side-out right from the start. This play continued for the first 6 points of the set with both teams knotted at 3. The Broncos scored 2 straight and were able to take a 5-3 lead. Medicine Hat finally responded with a big defensive play blocking the Broncos attack. After tying the set at 6 and hemorrhaging 2 points again on errors, the Rattlers took a timeout down 8-6. The Rattlers were able to tie it at 8 coming out of the break before the Broncos again took the service advantage. Errors plagued the Rattlers in the second set which gave the Broncos opportunities to capitalize. The Broncos jumped out to a 13-9 lead again on some poor passing from the home side. The Broncos again extended their lead by playing mistake free through the middle part of the set. Medicine Hat took their second timeout down 19-12 in an effort to mount a late comeback in the second set. a Big kill looked to inject the gym with some energy but the Rattlers could not close the gap so late in the set. with the Broncos at 24 the Rattlers served 4 straight but it was too little too late as the Broncos took the set 25-20 evening the match at 1 each.

With the match tied at one set each the crucial 3rd set got started in the Rattler favor. Up 5-2 early, they seemed to play with the same intensity as the end of the set before. Olds however did not give up and quickly battled back into the game closing the gap to 2. The Rattlers were confused with a new rotation with a new coach and system and cost themselves a point early in the set. with the set at 8-6 the Broncos started to again chip away and were able to tie the set at 9. The Rattlers battled back in the lead taking the next two points, but still looked somewhat confused at where to be on the court. After complaining about out of rotation too many times, the Broncos were issued a yellow card. They used this as momentum and tied the set at 12 before the Rattlers could respond. The home side responded hard scoring 3 straight and forcing the Broncos to call timeout. The Rattlers added to their lead and brought it to 18-14 entering the later stages of the set. the Rattlers came out with a huge kill on a crazy Rally to bring their lead to 5. The Rattlers lead 20-15 late in the set and only needed to maintain side-outs to take the third set. Able to hang on the Rattlers took a 25-20 third set victory.

Again the first 8 points of the set were side-outs as neither team could gain any early advantage. The back and forth continued throughout the early part of the set with the broncos up 11-10 as the set entered the middle stages. The set continued as a back and forth affair with the score knotted at 17 as it approached the end. Neither team was able to gain any advantage and the set seemed to fly by. The Rattlers gained a tiny advantage holding serve at 20-20 to take a 21-20 lead. The Broncos scored 2 straight to take a 22-21 lead and hold the service advantage. The Rattlers took their first timeout in an effort to try and finish it in 4. An ace coming out of the break for the broncos gave them a critical 2 point cushion before the Rattlers could answer. The Broncos lead 24-22 and forced the Rattlers to take their final timeout. The Broncos took the last point and forced a 5th and final set.

The fifth and deciding set stared with the Rattlers forcing a quick side-out to take the first point. The Broncos responded right away with one of their own. This continued as the score slowly crawled up through the early stages of the set. the game remained tied at 6 as the teams neared the switch. The Rattlers held serve on a huge Dexter Mackie block and were up 8-7 at the switch. The Rattlers scored again right away and took a 9-7 lead, forcing Olds to take a timeout. The Broncos came out of the break with a quick kill and a Rattlers error saw the set tied at 9. Medicine Hat broke the tie again to hold a tiny advantage. The Broncos stole the advantage back thanks to some terrible Rattlers passing. Down 10-12 the Rattlers called a timeout in an effort to come back in the decisive set. Medicine Hat scored coming out of the break and narrowed the lead and tied the set at 12. With 2 fast points off Rattler errors, the Broncos earned a match point at 14-12 forcing the Rattlers to burn a timeout. Winning the next point the broncos bench tried to ice the server by calling their final timeout, up 14-13. The Rattlers tied the set at 14 before the Broncos earned the chance to serve for the win. They took the 5th set 16-14 and 3 sets to 2.

The ACAC Players of the game were Thundersky Walkingbear from Olds and Aleksa Zivic for MHC.