Fifteen was the number of the day at the Corporate Volleyball Challenge held at Rotary Park in Whitehorse on Thursday. Not only was it the 15th annual Challenge, after a team dropped out 15 were left to fight for supremacy in—you guessed it—15-minute games.
Taking the top prize and their third title was Soir de Semaine (“Evening of the Week”), defeating runner-up, Albino Rhino from Earl’s Restaurant 13-4 in the finals.
“They were really tired and we were just waiting here drinking water (on the sideline),” said Alain Desrochers, the only Soir de Semaine player who plays in the French music band for which the team was named. “We came on really fresh and I said to my friends, ‘Let’s go play control—control the ball.’
“Everybody played well but our two setters were the main force; they were setting nice balls for the spikes.”
Albino Rhino, taking their name from the Earl’s house brand of beer, played and won five straight games in the double elimination tournament to get to the finals. Their previous loss also came at the hands of Soir de Semaine, losing 16-10 in the closer match.
“We changed our rotation up a bit, but I think we were just a little bit tired towards the end,” said Albino Rhino’s Logan Kube. “We were tired but in the last game they were cleaner all around, we made a lot of mental mistakes, not finding the court with some of our shots and not being able to get a run going on our serve.”
The Challenge featured a service point scoring system, which means only the serving side could be awarded a point for winning a rally. Most volleyball federations have replaced that system with a points per rally system in which points are awarded to either team.
“It’s a bit old-school,” said Kube. “We never managed to find our groove when we had the serve.”
Coming in third was Wings of Change, a team from the city of Whitehorse with each player wearing a small set of butterfly wings. Albino Rhino defeated Wings of Change 12-5 to get into the final.
With their disco-ball necklaces, tinsel wigs and colourful scarves, the best costume prize went to the Disco Daisies, whose team members were from the city’s Fireweed Day Camps.
“We sat around and brainstormed for a while—we wanted something we could have fun with and someone threw that out there and it stuck,” said Nikki Leigh, captain of the Disco Daisies. “We wanted to be able to dress up because we knew that our volleyball skills wouldn’t get us anywhere, so we were hoping for the costume prize.
“The sweat and glitter was running into our eyes and it was not a good scene.”
Other prizes included the Most Enthusiastic, won by—shiver me timbers—the pirate-clad group called Captain Peg Leg and the Wenches. Winning for best name was a team with eastern European ties, called Czech This Out.
From sand to band, Soir de Semaine (the musical group) will be performing this Thursday and Friday at Flipper’s Pub.
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