Crusaders compete in Alberta tourneys

Two Vanier Crusader volleyball teams were in separate Alberta cities for tournaments over the weekend, with one team gathering some wins while the other took in some experience - and perhaps laid foundations for the future.

Two Vanier Crusader volleyball teams were in separate Alberta cities for tournaments over the weekend, with one team gathering some wins while the other took in some experience – and perhaps laid foundations for the future.

The Crusader 9/10 girls’ team headed off to Calgary for the Dig Pink Volleyball Tournament, a breast cancer fundraising event, at the Calgary Academy private school.

A level AA and AAA tournament for students Grade 10-12, the 9/10 Crusader girls surprisingly won three straight games on the way to a sixth-place finish out of 16 teams.

Although Crusaders head coach Caroline Holway singled out a few players, such as setter Heather Clarke and hitter Bailey Kuzma, she emphasized the team effort most of all.

“We have a strong 11-player team,” said Holway. “It’s one of those teams where we don’t really have a starting line-up; all 11 can play.

“In the game that we lost, it wasn’t one player. It was a team loss and all the wins were team wins.”

After winning their pool without dropping a set, the Crusaders were ousted from the single-elimination playoff round with a 25-23, 25-12 loss to the Highwood Mustangs from High River, Alberta.

“Their strength as a team is the energy, work ethic and the positive attitude they bring to the court regardless of who is on,” said Holway. “Our passing was good and we had 29 serves that could not be returned by the opponents. The setters both played well and on defense the girls went after everything. We were proud of the way the girls represented not only Vanier Catholic Secondary School but in a broader sense, the way they represented the Yukon.”

The Crusader senior boys’ team (Grade 11/12), competing at the Lindsey Thurber Invitational at Lindsey Thurber High School in Red Deer, may have bitten off more than they could chew. But that was the intention.

“It did exactly what we were hoping to do, which was to go down and see how we stacked up against the best competition,” said Crusaders head coach Russ Tait. “We know we have one more year to get better.”

The Crusaders had a few disadvantages to deal with in Red Deer. On top of being a team from a AA school, playing in a AAAA (schools with student bodies between roughly 1,000-2,000) tournament, seven of the top 10 teams in Alberta were present.

“It was a good education, that’s for sure,” said Tait. “We didn’t win any matches, but there were ones that were 25-23, 25-22, so we were right there with them.

“The senior varsity teams down there, there’s rarely a Grade 11 on them, so me with my Grade 11s, it was a good challenge.”

Although the Crusaders failed to capture a win, they did catch the attention of some post-secondary representatives.

“What I’m always trying to do with these kids is give them the opportunity to get to the next level, if they would like to,” said Tait. “So that means having coaches from those colleges and universities to be able to see them and to get the kids exposed to that caliber of play.

“Michael Hunter played really well and the Red Deer coaches have had their eye on him since Grade 9. (Captain) Henry Kedziora (the Crusaders’ only Grade 12 player) had the athletic director from Augustana talking to him about his possibilities next year.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Premier Sandy Silver speaks to media after delivering the budget in the legislature in Whitehorse on March 4. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Territorial budget predicts deficit of $12.7 million, reduced pandemic spending in 2021-2022

If recovery goes well, the territory could end up with a very small surplus.

Dawson City RCMP are reporting a break and enter on Feb. 25 after two masked men entered a residence, assaulted a man inside with a weapon and departed. (Black Press file)
Two men arrested after Dawson City home invasion

Dawson City RCMP are reporting a break and enter on Feb. 25.… Continue reading

Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn speaks to reporters at a news conference in Whitehorse on Dec. 21, 2017. New ATIPP laws are coming into effect April 1. (Chris Windeyer/Yukon News file)
New access to information laws will take effect April 1

“Our government remains committed to government openness and accountability.”

City council meeting in Whitehorse on Feb. 8. At Whitehorse city council’s March 1 meeting, members were presented with a bylaw that would repeal 10 bylaws deemed to be redundant or out of date. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Out with the old

Council considers repealing outdated bylaws

A bobcat is used to help clear snow in downtown Whitehorse on Nov. 4. According to Environment Canada, the Yukon has experienced record-breaking precipitation this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon will have “delayed spring” after heavy winter snowfall

After record levels of precipitation, cold spring will delay melt

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

A rendering of the Normandy Manor seniors housing facility. (Photo courtesy KBC Developments)
Work on seniors housing project moves forward

Funding announced for Normandy Manor

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Most Read