By: Tara Hebert, Grade 8 Girls Coach
The Jr. B Girls Volleyball Team had a very successful season. With league starting late this year, they competed in two tournaments prior to starting regular season. At the Bearspaw Grizzlies Tournament on Oct 1, the girls went undefeated and won the tournament. Next, we played at the George Freeman Tournament in Strathmore. The girls finished first in their pool and demonstrated excellent teamwork. Unfortunately, the girls were very nervous and lost in the Semi-Finals. It was an eight-team tournament so overall the girls had a strong finish.
Then our league started mid-October and the girls played solid three-hit volleyball in most of their matches. They learned a lot about their own individual skills and game play, but even more so about how they connect as a team. The girls finished undefeated in regular season!
At the end of October, the girls competed in the Webber Academy Trick or Treat Tournament. It was a long night, but once again, the girls set their eyes on winning and we won the tournament, again undefeated!
At League playoffs the girls faced a fierce NDC team who dug up everything we put over the net. We went to three games and were victorious in the third. This sent us to the Semi-Finals at Okotoks Junior High. We faced RDL in our Semi Final Match, playing in the auxiliary gym which had a lower ceiling... not ideal for playoffs. The first game we won 25 – 8. We had excellent serving, the girls played calm and demonstrated excellent passing and attacks. Such a lovely game to watch! For the second set we were hot off the bench – but, not quite the same calmness we had hoped for. I tried to make some subs, maybe a little late, but we crept back into the game. Unfortunately, not early enough as we lost 17 – 25. So, we went to the third set, a little deflated, but eager to put on a show. The girls put everything they had into the third set; their passion, commitment and fierce intensity led us to win 15- 12! The girls, parents, and coaches were so proud of their teamwork and dedication.
We had a little break while the other Semi Final match was also finishing their third game. This meant there were four very strong teams present. The host team, OJ, ended with a win in overtime, so they were ready for battle. We had a great warm up and, in the game, we fought for every point. We were tied 23 – 23, but we lost 25 – 27. The girls were a little disappointed, but I said “that just means we get to play two more games!”. And did they ever! During the second set we won 25 – 19. Now the Spartans were ready for battle. One point at a time was my coaching tip for them (of course along with all the other things we had been working on all season). We took the win 15 – 9! If you’ve never been in a gymnasium with a winning Gr. 8 Girls team – you may want to avoid it or be prepared for the loudest screams ever.
Coach Baird and I are so impressed with the girls play, effort, teamwork, and grit all season. They truly left everything they had out on the court and are inspiring young athletes who will continue to develop their individual skills and court play. Future coaches – they are ready for you! I couldn’t be prouder.