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Volleyball playoffs wrap up, Zones and provincials around the corner

Playing in the Division 2 semi-finals of the Calgary Senior High School Athletic Association (CSHSAA) playoffs, the Kodiaks traded the first four sets back and forth with the Ravens but could not overcome the visitors from Calgary in the fifth and deciding set.

The W.H. Croxford Cavaliers senior girls' volleyball team took it to four sets, but could not come up with a win over the lethal Cochrane Cobras, in the Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) championship game on Nov. 16.

Playing on their home court, the Cobras ousted the visiting Cavaliers in four sets (25-18, 22-25, 25-14, 25-18).

The gold-medal match marked the first time in Croxford's eight-year history the school's senior girls' volleyball team made it to the divisional banner game. While the Cavaliers showcased their pinpoint hitting and stellar defence at times, head coach Jared Fuller said the squad struggled with consistency throughout the contest.

“We looked really good in moments and really bad in moments,” he said. “The bad moments, I guess, outweighed the good moments.”

Though they were disappointed to fall short of securing the division title, Fuller said his players are eager to continue the season this weekend, when they head to Okotoks to compete in the South Central Zones tournament, the winner of which qualifies for the 3A provincial championships the following weekend.

“We should have a chance of making the finals,” he said. “[This loss] was just a bump in the road for us. We'll move forward, compete this weekend, and hopefully it goes our way.”

Kodiaks lose in semis

The St. Martin de Porres Kodiaks senior boys’ volleyball team came up one win short of a berth in their league’s championship game, after losing a five-setter against the Joane Cardinal-Schubert Ravens on Nov. 10.

Competing in the Division 2 semi-finals of the Calgary Senior High School Athletic Association (CSHSAA) playoffs, the Kodiaks traded the first four sets back and forth with the Ravens but could not overcome the visitors from Calgary in the fifth and deciding set.

Having lost to the Ravens in the regular season as well, Grade 12 left-side hitter Avry Krywolt said the Kodiaks had plenty of incentive to win the playoff semi-final, and were disappointed to fall just short.

“There was definitely a lot of motivation for a lot of our players to give everything to try and win this game and get some redemption and get us into the finals,” he said.

“I know myself and a couple other players, we had so much drive coming into this game, especially because it was against Joane Cardinal-Schubert. We just really wanted that game, so it was quite a disappointing loss.” 

According to Krywolt, the Kodiaks played some of their best volleyball all season against Joane Cardinal-Schubert, particularly in the first and third sets.

However, the team got off to a slow start in the crucial fifth and final set, allowing the Ravens to build up a comfortable lead.

“If you get a lead by three or four points in the fifth set, that's pretty much game, and that's really what happened,” he said. “We had a couple of bad points we lost and then couldn't get it back.”

While St. Martin de Porres was disappointed to miss out on the Division 2 championship game – which Joane Cardinal-Schubert went on to win over Ernest Manning on Nov. 13 – Krywolt said the team still has some more volleyball to play this season, as they’ll be heading to Westlock to compete in the 3A provincial championships from Nov. 25 to 27.

He added the Kodiaks’ strong showing in 2021 has been “a season to be proud of,” and the players are amped for provincials.

“Our senior team this year is 100 per cent Grade 12s, so I know it was definitely helpful to know that in a couple of weeks, we'll be heading up to represent Airdrie and St. Martin de Porres at provincials up in Westlock,” he said. “I think it helped with morale, because it's almost like a second chance to prove ourselves.”

Mustangs claim third

Repeating their final placement from 2019, the George McDougall Mustangs senior boys’ volleyball team claimed third place in the Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) playoffs on Nov. 10, sweeping the Chestermere Lakers in three sets to take home the bronze medal.

George McDougall, who entered the RVSA playoffs as the division’s second seed after boasting a 5-1 regular-season record, dispatched the Lakers 25-15, 29-27, and 25-20.

With league play wrapped up and the South Central Zones 3A volleyball tournament taking place this weekend, head coach Tim Massé said the Mustangs will be focusing on consistency as they prepare for the trip to Strathmore.

“We have skill – lots of skill – but we just don't put it all together every game,” he said. “We have some really high-flying players who are ranked in the top 30 in the country, we have players who are thinking about post-secondary, and we have players who are playing for the first time in two years and hadn't touched a volleyball in those two years.”

According to Massé, the winner of the zones tournament will qualify for the 3A provincial championships later this month. He added the Mustangs’ competition at Zones will include the Springbank Phoenix, Cochrane Cobras, Strathmore Spartans and Brooks Buffaloes.

All five teams will be gunning for the lone spot in provincials, Massé added.

“The first goal is to play well, play consistently, and meet the goals we've set about the team. The end goal should take care of itself,” he said. “Of course, we all want to make provincials, but having not beaten some of [the teams we’ll play against]... we need to focus on our own team and say 'These are the things we need to do to play anybody.' If we do those things, we'll be OK.”

Scott Strasser

About the Author: Scott Strasser

Scott Strasser, editor
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