In the first game of the New Year, the Lions couldn't match the level of the visiting Red Deer Queens and lost in straight sets. Lions Player of the Game Jeena Johner, a sophomore leftside from Weyburn, Saskatchewan, led her team in kills and digs with 7 and 18 respectively. On the Queens side, libero Kaylee Domoney was awarded Player of the Game after a spectacular defensive performance that saw her pick up 29 digs.
The Queens leapt to an 12-1 lead behind the serving of Jade Van Dyke (11 kills, 11 digs) and the Lions couldn't find a way to stop the bleeding until Maddy Williscroft (3 kills, 9 digs) flushed down an overpass. Ambrose couldn't muster up enough of a comeback to overcome the early deficit, and the set ended at 25-15 after a kill by Katrina Dawe (9 kills, 10 digs).
In the second set it was the Lions' turn to use their serving to build up a lead, going up 7-2 out of the gate. Red Deer fought their way back and equalized the score at 13-13, where the teams battled and kept the score close down to the wire. Up 26-25, Queens serving sub Parres Holliday went back to the line and scored on an ace that bounced off the tape and straight down on the Lions side to put the Queens up 2-0.
The final set was another back-and-forth affair, both teams finding themselves tied up at 20 after trading kills and hard serves. Red Deer, relying largely on the offense of their leftsides but stifling the attacks of the Lions with frustrating defense, went up 24-22 and sent Britt Davis to the line to try and end the game. Ambrose middle blocker Willow Lewington (4 kills, 5 blocks) swung out of the middle but was rejected by Alexandria Greenshields (4 kills, 1 block) to finish the match.
The Lions and Queens will rematch Saturday night in Red Deer, at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. Their game begins at 6:00 pm with the men's game to follow, tune in at acactv.ca if you can't make it the games in person!