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Cochrane Cobras senior volleyball teams take RVSA league banners

Boys and girls teams will be pitted against a pool of other teams in Strathmore this weekend at South Central Zones

The Cochrane Cobras senior girls' and boys' volleyball teams have two more banners to decorate the walls of the Cochrane High School gym.

In the Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) league finals in Cochrane on Nov. 16, the Cobras senior girls' team beat the W.H. Croxford Cavaliers, winning three out of four sets with scores of 25-18, 22-25, 25-14 and 25-18. The senior boys swept all three sets against the Springbank Phoenix, with scores of 25-19, 25-16 and 25-10. 

The girls' league game against Croxford ended in a tighter match-up, running through all five sets. Cobras Grade 12 co-captain Faith Solecki said the host team came better prepared to shut the Airdrie side down faster in the final. 

"We definitely came back stronger tonight," Solecki said. "I think we just knew more about their intensity and their ability in that type of way. So we expected more of what was coming."

Solecki added she credits much of the win to the team's overall defence and coverage on the court, with everyone working cohesively and relying on each other to stay on top of their game and quickly fix mistakes when they happened. 

Springbank's senior boys' coach Carol Smith said both teams fought hard and the Phoenix left everything they had on the court in the final. 

"Cochrane is a great team and they seem to get everything back to us even though we didn't think it was going to come back," she said. "But the boys were awesome. They put up a fight. They battled hard."

Cobras senior boys' coach Daniel Hasiuk said they are not taking their banner win for granted, and know there will be more tough teams to come in zones and possibly at provincials. 

"We've been pretty successful .. at the high school level with teenage boys, things happen, things get in their heads, but we are looking forward to getting a berth in provincials and we face some pretty strong teams around the province," he said. "Particularly Lethbridge, we're a little worried about. We've watched McGrath and Barrhead and we haven't played them, but we're at that level. So I think we're a contender this year more so than in past years."

Hasiuk added the team is well-rounded with strong players in every position, all of them making their presence known on the court. 

"We have two strong middles, two strong powers, a strong right side, strong setter, a superb libero," said. "Our libero Alec Shepherd had one of his better games tonight defensively. He doesn't let anything touch the floor, he's really fast and reads a play really well. He's a true student of the game."

Shepherd, who is in Grade 12, said he was looking forward to playing in the South Central Zones 3A tournament (held after press time in Strathmore) and was not too worried about the competition, save for Holy Trinity Academy [HTA]. 

Provincials may be a different story with competitors like Lethbridge College Institute and likely HTA again, he added.

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