MVB | Kodiaks ground Eagles, advance to semis

MVB | Kodiaks ground Eagles, advance to semis

Feb. 22, 2019 – A legendary performance from Carter Hansen helped the south division champion Lethbridge College Kodiaks down The King’s University Eagles in straight sets (26-24, 25-18, 26-24) on Thursday at the 2019 ACAC Men's Volleyball Championships in Edmonton. 

The victory secures the Kodiaks their second straight trip to the ACAC semifinals, where they will play south rival SAIT Trojans on Friday night at 8 p.m.

After finishing second in the conference with 366 kills during the regular season, Hansen elevated his game when it mattered most.

The Magrath native was simply too much for the Eagles to handle, blasting 13 kills and an incredible five aces, including an absolute fireball on the final serve of the match.

Though the game ended in three sets, the Eagles gave Lethbridge everything they could handle.  

TKU opened the game on a 6-1 run, catching the Kodiaks slightly flatfooted. A strong service streak from Hansen helped the Kodiaks quickly get back on track and close the gap to 7-6. The teams then traded leads throughout the first set, but Lethbridge’s experience eventually pulled through.

With the Kodiaks leading 25-24, a huge block on the right side from Hansen and Michael Svab helped give LC the set win and an early advantage.

Lethbridge fed off this momentum in the second stanza, pulling away from the Eagles midway through. Defensive adjustments helped them keep Eagles star Evan Veldman at bay after he had a monster first set, and the Kodiaks put themselves on the brink of victory with a 25-18 set two win.

After watching Red Deer blow a 2-0 lead earlier in the day, the Kodiaks knew they couldn’t afford to mess around in the third frame.

Executing their game plan to a tee, the team went up 24-18 in set three and were on the brink of victory.

Thats when a shocking TKU run made things dicey.

The Eagles refused to say die, scoring six straight points to go up 24-24.

As they have all year, however, the Kodiaks regrouped and secured the next two points, punctuated by a huge ace from Hansen.

When asked about his team's win, Kodiaks head coach Greg Gibos said: "We need to take our victory tonight and build upon it, we need to continue to be resilient. Provincials are a different beast we need to be ready for anything."

What's Next? 

Lethbridge will face a familiar south division foe in the semifinals, as they will battle the SAIT Trojans for a berth in the ACAC championship. The south division third seeded Trojans knocked off host NAIT Ooks in straight sets. 

Players of the Game

Lethbridge College Kodiaks - Carter Hansen

King's Eagles - Jayden Hiebert

Kodiaks Quick Facts 

• Thursday’s matchup marked the third time a Kodiaks team has faced The King’s University in an ACAC quarterfinal this year. The Kodiaks are now 3-0 against TKU, after both men’s and women’s soccer teams won their matchups earlier this season. 

• The Kodiaks and Eagles also met in last season’s ACAC MVB Championship quarterfinal round, with the Kodiaks securing a dramatic comeback after getting down 2-0. Lethbridge then lost 3-1 to Keyano in the semifinal. 

• Lethbridge was victorious in all four meetings with the Trojans this season, although the Trojans were able to take a set off the Kodiaks in three of the four matchups.