MVB enjoying strong start

MVB enjoying strong start

Dec. 17, 2019 – Entering the semester break, the Lethbridge College Kodiaks men’s volleyball team finds itself in a familiar position – first place in the ACAC south division.

After capturing the division crown with a 22-2 record a year ago, this year’s edition sports a tidy 10-2 record at the break, is ranked eighth in the nation, and has overcome early injury trouble to put themselves in a solid position to repeat.

Their playoff spot is already secure by virtue of hosting this year’s ACAC championship tournament, but head coach Greg Gibos is continuing to push his team knowing how important seeding can be come playoff time. 

“The season has been an excellent example of the depth and ability for our program to respond to some adversity this season,” says Gibos. “We’ve had some injuries, but we’ve had athletes step up and fill roles throughout the semester. Sitting at 10-2 in the ACAC south division is a tremendous accomplishment, but we still have a lot of work to do if we want to raise the banner in February.”

Hansen continues to amaze

The first half had no shortage of highlights for the Kodiaks, with no moment more memorable than Carter Hansen breaking the all-time ACAC career kills record in front of a home-town crowd.

The fact that former Kodiak Dax Whitehead, who had broken that same record just last season, was in attendance to witness the moment spoke volumes to the sense of family Gibos has created within his program.

“Carter breaking Dax’s kills record was an amazing experience for everyone,” says Gibos.  

“I think it speaks to our program that Dax came in to watch the game and take pictures, knowing that his record was going to be broken. Our program is so much about family, and every single Kodiak was excited to celebrate that accomplishment with an athlete who has done so much for Lethbridge volleyball. We’re hoping to see him celebrate even more on home court next semester.” 

In his fifth ACAC season, Hansen has taken his dominance to the next level. The Magrath native is currently second in the conference in kills with 168 and third in kills per set (3.82).  

It’s a safe bet there’s nothing Hansen wants more than to cap his career with an ACAC banner, and he’ll get that opportunity when the Kodiaks host the 2019 ACAC men’s volleyball championships February 27-29 at the Val Matteotti Gymnasium.

Tickets and additional tournament information will be announced later in January.

Gabbing with Gibos – Thoughts from the Head Coach

On what his team will focus on in the second half…

“Our focus will be on continually getting a little better everyday,” says Gibos. “We are still searching for some consistency in our passion and passing game. Once our serve/receive becomes consistent we will have several more opportunities to run a more dynamic offense against our opponents who may key in our tendencies.”

On a player that has taken it to a new level…

“Despite transitioning between positions, Michael Hummel hasn’t missed a beat so far this season. He’s become one of our best serve/receive defenders, and a dynamic presence as an outside attacker. His kill efficiency has continually increased over the semester.” 

On a few players to keep an eye on in the second half….

“Nolan Moes and Nash Shipton have been improving steadily every day as first year athletes. Nolan had a great weekend against Ambrose and will look to take over some more matches offensively. They both have extremely bright futures in the league and are just getting used to competing every Friday and Saturday night.”

Leaders at the semester break

Kills | Carter Hansen (168), Quinn Buchanan (72), Michael Hummel (70)

Assists | Zach Wikenheiser (342)

Digs | Malcolm Fisher (90), Michael Hummel (80), Carter Hansen (76)

Blocks | Quinn Buchanan (21), Michael Svab (20), Zach Wikenheiser (17)

Dates to circle in 2020

Jan 10 & 11 | at Red Deer – The Kodiaks return to action against their rivals from RDC, in a weekend series that will go a long way to determining top spot in the ACAC south.

Feb. 7 | vs Medicine Hat – The Highway 3 rivalry continues, as the Rattlers will look for revenge after dropping both first semester matches to the Kodiaks.

Feb. 15 | vs SAIT – The Kodiaks enter the semester break tied for first place with the Trojans and will look to avenge their home opener loss to SAIT.