The most important evening of volleyball so far this season was also the shortest.
The Vanier Crusaders sent their opponents packing in straight-set victories in the YSAA Super Volley final last Friday at Vanier Catholic Secondary School.
It was the first time this season that both Super Volley games wrapped up in three sets each. In both cases – the boys final and the girls final – it were the Porter Creek Rams coming away with a loss.
“I’m really excited actually. Last year we didn’t win, so it’s awesome winning this year,” said Crusaders captain Kate Londero.
“We definitely worked our way up; we got a lot better as the season went on. In the last two games we had a lot of energy … We pumped ourselves up.”
The Crusaders took the girls final in a 25-18, 25-23, 26-24 win over the Rams.
Not only did the Rams push the third set to extra points, they almost pushed it to another set.
Down 23-22, Rams’ Brooke McNally put in a big serve to tie it. Porter Creek then got to set point on a missed Vanier attack. However, Crusaders power Skye Hanson evened it up with a tip over Porter Creek blockers. A point later Vanier then took the match on an ace from Erica Couch.
With clutch plays like her tip facing set point, Hanson was named Vanier’s Player of the Game.
“She hasn’t seen as much playing time as she may have wanted this season, but I gave her a little talk at the beginning and she followed what I asked,” said Crusaders head coach Amanda Bartel. “She worked hard, she hit hard, she served hard and she definitely deserves Player of the Game.”
Vanier defeated the F.H. Collins Warriors in four sets in Thursday’s semi to reach the final.
The Rams, who got a bye into the final at the top seed, won the Triple Crown last season, capturing senior girls titles in Super Volley, the Dawson Invitational and the Yukon Volleyball Championships.
“I am really quite impressed with their performance tonight,” said Bartel. “They pulled it together, they kept very focused and they did have really great communication.”
Following the final, Crusaders power Jeila Tobias was named the Super Volley MVP for the season. Tobias put a kill off the net tape and over to close out the second set in the final.
“It feels good. I don’t really feel like I deserve – everyone deserves to be MVP because we all did well,” said Tobias. “We communicated well, energy was up.”
“The first set was good, our energy was high, and we just kept it up.”
“Jeila is definitely one of our best players,” said Londero. “She knows how to control the court and helps out when help is needed.”
Jayden Demchuk (Warriors)
Avery Bramadat (Warriors)
Tayla McNally (Rams)
Thea Carey (Rams)
Mikaela Ponsioen (Crusaders)
Kate Londero (Crusaders)
MVP Jeila Tobias (Crusaders)
Vanier boys catch fire in final
After a pair of close sets, Vanier’s senior boys really came together in the third for the Super Volley title.
The Crusaders downed the Rams 25-22, 25-23, 25-13 in the final.
“The boys came out wanting to win, they played a solid game,” said Crusaders head coach Ben Craigen. “It was so so, a little bit of a teeter-totter the first set until they got their feet under them. After that it went in their favour and they controlled the game, from the second set to the third.”
The Crusaders went on a seven-point run in the third set, taking a 16-7 lead on a big block from setter and captain Daniel Moses. Moses, who notched four blocks in the game, was named season MVP for Super Volley.
“It’s pretty great … I can’t put it in many words,” said Moses. “The group of guys we have this year is great.
“Our motivation and confidence, just the way we passed the ball and hit the ball – that’s a game changer.”
The Crusaders continued to dominate as the Rams struggled to find their offence. Vanier went on another big run, reaching 22-12 on the serve of Moses. Jared Morgan got a kill for match point and Jayron Aquilar sealed the deal with a spike off Porter Creek blockers.
Morgan Schmidt was named Player of the Game for the Rams and Parker Olson received the corresponding nod for the Crusaders.
“He’s an integral part of the starting line up no matter how I choose the team,” said Craigen. “I count on him to play a solid game – solid offensive middle, solid defensive middle – every game in and out through out the season.”
“I have an amazing depth on my bench,” added Craigen. “I struggle sometimes to pick who is the starting line-up from game to game.
“Sometimes I’ll play two completely different teams in a game.”
Jordan Runions (Warriors)
Tim Schirmer (Warriors)
Chance Goodman (Rams)
Morgan Schmidt (Rams)
Parker Olson (Crusaders)
Jayron Aquilar (Crusaders)
MVP Daniel Moses (Crusaders)
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