In a rematch of last year’s battle for bronze in the Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) senior boys’ volleyball league, the George McDougall Mustangs swept the W.H. Croxford Cavaliers in three straight sets Nov. 8 to finish on the podium (25-15, 25-19, 25-13).
The RVSA’s senior boys’ bronze-medal 🏐 match is taking place at George McDougall right now. The @GMHSMustangs are leading the @WHCroxford Cavaliers 6-4 in the fir set. An all-Airdrie battle for third! pic.twitter.com/zJ8Umc7O8c— Scott Strasser (@scottstrasser19) November 8, 2019
In a match that lasted just an hour, the result was a comfortable win for the Mustangs, and mirrored the outcome of the two Airdrie teams’ previous encounter in the RVSA this season. George McDougall head coach Tim Massé said his players performed well in the bronze-medal match, but added they could have played with more consistency.
“We had pockets where we weren’t happy,” he said. “Croxford was a little weaker than our match against Springbank. At times, they were strong, and then they had rotations where we could take advantage of them, a bit.
“We didn’t take advantage as much as we wanted. Yes, we came out strong and finished strong, but we didn’t hit all the cylinders we wanted to.”
The Mustangs took the first set 25-15 and are playing well in the second, as well. 17-9 now. pic.twitter.com/oONRM07TXh— Scott Strasser (@scottstrasser19) November 8, 2019
According to Massé, George McDougall’s goal heading into the regular season was to contest for the RVSA championship. After qualifying for the playoffs as the third seed with a 2-2 record, the Mustangs fell short of that goal Nov. 6, courtesy of a 3-2 loss in a lengthy duel in the semi-finals with the Springbank Phoenix.
Having beaten Springbank twice this year in tournament play, Massé said the result was tough to swallow.
“We were disappointed that we dropped that match in five sets,” he said. “But we’re also proud we had come so far from the start of the year to now. Third place is good, but we wanted more.”
McDougall takes a 2-0 lead and keeps the prospect of a three-set sweep alive. pic.twitter.com/gs3TR3Oko6— Scott Strasser (@scottstrasser19) November 8, 2019
The Mustangs’ regular-season wins came in sweeps against the Cavaliers and the Chestermere Lakers, while the team’s defeats were against the Cochrane Cobras and the Phoenix.
The RVSA senior boys’ volleyball league was shortened to just four matches per team this year, due to the absence of the Bert Church Chargers and Bow Valley Bobcats. According to Massé, the reduced schedule meant teams had to get most of their court time in tournaments.
“I was hoping we could…play an exhibition round, or do something creative so we could get some more games, [but] it didn’t materialize,” he said. “Tournaments are different, because the matches are best of three, most of the time. If you’re trying to win the tournament, sometimes it can be tough to get your bench in, because every game is so important.”
With the bronze medal secured, the Mustangs will take to the court for at least one more weekend this season, when the squad travels to Strathmore Nov. 16 to compete at the South Central Zones 3A tournament. The winner of that tourney will compete at the Alberta Schools Athletic Association provincial championships the following weekend.