Entering their 5th tournament of the season, the 18U’s were starting to have some doubts and becoming frustrated with their 6-19 record. Having competed in several very competitive tournaments, they were seeing progress in their game but not getting the results they were hoping for. That all changed this past weekend at Rally Pointe in Premier 2 of the Volleyball Alberta season as the team went 7 & 0, winning all 14 sets, and getting their record to a much better 13-19.
Being the #1 ranked team in Division 4 came with a bit of added pressure but they played very well in all 3 pool matches beating Brooks Rush (25-17, 25-16), Jaguars 17 (25-14, 25-13) & EAVC from Provost (25-10, 25-13).
This brought on the always nerve-wracking crossover against a team from Onoway (Riot). Riot had nothing to lose and played with a ton of energy and are very well coached. The games were close from start to finish but the Canada West girls prevailed in a nail-biter 25-22, 25-23. Having played in 4 previous tournaments, the girls were starting to understand how to close out sets after 20 points and the early season jitters near the end of sets had finally disappeared.
The Sunday morning quarter-final against the Whitecourt Revz started out close but the girls continued to improve with every kill and managed to take over the match in the second set winning 25-20, 25-11. The quick second set allowed for some extra rest as they prepared to face the Jaguars 18’s. Once again, the first set was tight all the way through with Canada West edging out the girls from Cochrane 25-23. The CW girls found some momentum in the second set and took over the match winning 25-9, thus allowing once again, some extra rest before the gold medal game. Having made it to the gold medal match, the team was assured of moving up to Division 3, which was the goal at the start of the weekend. This allowed the team to enter the match relaxed and allowed coach Bruce Edwards to play a few athletes who hadn’t had as much game time as others during the weekend.
Motivation in the final against the SAVC 17’s was not an issue as these girls compete against each other and have rivalries with them in their school seasons. The game was back and forth in the first set with CW girls pulling ahead at the end, thanks to some timely kills and serves, 25-20. All the momentum was with the CW team and they easily won the 2nd 25-15 to take home the gold medal.
It was a total team effort from top to bottom and the girls are already looking forward to competing in Edmonton in Division 3 in a couple of weeks.