A strong finish to the 2018 Senior Varsity Girls Volleyball season
The Senior Varsity Girls Volleyball team successfully extended their season by winning the South Central Zone banner and advancing to Provincials, held for both the boys and girls teams in Camrose, Alberta. The first day included a fabulous opening ceremonies (who knew there was competitive skipping), and then matches got underway. A strong team effort in our first match against Millwoods Christian (25-17, 25-8) had us off to a great start; setting by musical lead Carly Black ’20, strong hits by outside Bianca Doherty ’21, and huge blocks by chorus member Izzy Imoru ’20 lead the way in the second set. In our second match, we knew that playing the #2 ranked team from Vauxhall would be tough. The first set we struggled to attack successfully, but fantastic defence by Halla Kharfan ’19 kept long rallies going. The score of 14-25 did not reflect the actual game. In set 2, the girls served strong, and continued to attack. The Spartans let the Queens get on a bit of a run though, and ended up losing 17-25 but not quitting on any balls. A yummy banquet with an inspiring keynote address from ACAC coach, Greg Ryan (formally of the Calgary Dinos) finished off the evening.
Day 2 of matches saw the SV girls playing Ecole Notre Dame in the morning, winning both sets. Strong hitting and blocks by Maddie German ’19 led us to a solid victory. In the afternoon, we had an opportunity to eliminate Sexsmith Secondary, but failed to rise to that occasion, losing in straight sets. Libero Sydney Evans ’21 did an excellent job of keeping us in the game when our offence struggled a bit. At the end of this match, the SV girls were now 2-2, and in a must win situation for Saturday morning’s match. Win this one, and we end up in a 3-way-tie for second, forcing a single tie-break match to advance to playoffs. Lose and we will be cheering on the boys from the stands, finishing just outside the 3rd place playoff berth. Friday evening included a team dinner and some team bonding time. Ms. Weber and the Grade 12 players also spent some time figuring out how to deal with the emotions of our last matches together, regardless of the outcome on Saturday. A surprise visit from Jayhan Kherani ’19 who suffered a devastating knee injury earlier in the season, brought the girls spirits high; the whole team was together again!
Saturday morning was a brand new day. The Spartans proved their grit and perseverance winning a fantastic match against St. Augustine (27-25, 25-21) to force a 3-way tie for second. The passing from Halla Kharfan and Sydney Evans, made it possible for Megan Evans ’19 to run a variety of offensive plays. Louisa Pittman ’20 found the “hole in pot” a number of times, Melissa Spyker ’19 lived up to her name with kills outside and from the back row, and captain Megan Norris ’19 cut the ball hard to find a hole in the court on more than one occasion. Big blocks by Martha Valmana ’20 and Maddie German ’19, kept St. Augustine on their toes. The girls on the bench helped with focus, serving strategy and finding the holes that allowed us to score. It was an incredible match, with long rallies and big offensive and defensive plays. The energy in the gym was amazing!
After sorting though all the data, the Spartans ended up tied for third and had to play a sudden death single game to 25 points. Coming out strong at the start, the Spartans put Sexsmith a bit on their heels, going ahead 9-4, but they were not going to let us win that easily. We played well but lost 20-25 to get knocked out of the tournament. In the end, we had beaten the team that finished 4th overall (St. Augustine), which shows just how tight the Provincials competition is. While the girls did not advance, it was a great match to end a season on, and they should be so proud of their performance. It was also nice to be able to maintain their Spartan pride and stay to cheer on the boys to their bronze medal victory!
Congratulations to all Spartan volleyball athletes and coaches. Both the boys and girls teams advancing to Provincials is to the credit of our Elementary and Middle School PE staff, coaches from Grades 7 to 12, their parents, and due to the support of our Athletic Director, Ken Zelez. It is a team effort to perform at this high level; we are so appreciative of all that is done for us and our Spartan Pride runneth over! Congratulations athletes!!