The Porter Creek Rams Black team was in the black over the weekend.
The Black squad dropped only two sets in seven games en route to winning the Pepsi Yukon Grade 8 Volleyball Championships at Porter Creek Secondary School on Saturday.
The Black Rams won the boys title with a 25-19, 23-25, 15-12 win over the Vanier Crusaders, the defending Grade 8 champs, in the final.
“We’re pretty excited,” said Black’s Dylan Cozens. “It was a close game. They came out pretty strong, stronger than we expected.”
“I’m pretty happy,” said teammate Grayson Turner. “It took a bunch of work, but we made it.”
Besides the dropped set in the final, the only other set the team lost was to their schoolmates on the Porter Creek Red team in the round robin. The Red squad went on to take the bronze after losing a three-setter to the Crusaders in the semifinal.
“They (Porter Creek Black) were the team to beat,” said Crusaders head coach Ben Craigen. “They beat us in the round robin. Ironically, to win the gold medal we had to beat the two teams we lost to in the round robin, which were the two PC teams.
“So they persevered, went to three sets in the semifinal match, and came out on top. They had a hard-fought battle in the final, came extremely close … It could have gone either way.”
In the final’s deciding set, the Rams took a 4-3 lead on a service winner from Turner, and there was no turning back. The Rams went up 12-9 and then 13-10 on kills from Cozens, who then made a crafty tip at match point for the win.
“There are just a lot of strong players here at Porter Creek,” said Cozens. “We have small teams, not very many subs, so that’s pretty good.
“Everyone played great this tournament.”
The Crusaders led for all of the second set until the Rams caught up at 21-21 on a kills from Turner and took the lead on a tough serve from Tristan Snooks.
Not to be outdone, Vanier tied it 22-22 on a kill down the line from CJ Dumadag and picked up set point on an ace from Dumadag. Teammate Brandon Petelski planted a shot on the baseline for the set.
Vanier’s Arcel Siosan, a key player in offence and defence, was named tournament MVP.
“Arcell has incredible talent for his age,” said Craigen. “He has an older brother who was quite involved in volleyball and he’s played outside of the high school league with the Filipino community in Whitehorse. So he came into this as a leader of our team.”
Porter Creek Red captured the bronze with a 25-17, 25-16 win over the F.H. Collins Warriors.
“We started with a really good group of boys – we had a Red squad and a Black squad – and they were very competitive,” said Rams head coach Jerry Heal. “We had senior boys coaching them, had junior boys coaching them. They were there every practice and they learned a lot along the way.”
Contact Tom Patrick at