If Friday’s game is any indication, this week’s Super Volley senior girls semifinal is going to be an intense battle.
The Vanier Crusaders narrowly held on to beat the F.H. Collins Warriors 25-23, 25-16, 23-25, 26-24, 15-10 to end the Super Volley regular season at F.H. Collins Secondary.
The Crusaders and Warriors, who finished the regular season ranked second and third respectively, will face each other in Thursday’s semifinal. The winning team will go on to play the Porter Creek Rams in the Super Volley final on Friday.
“It’s the joys of coaching girls 11/12 volleyball: it’s going to be back and forth, up and down, and you never know what’s going to happen,” said Crusaders co-head coach Janna Tait. “You can never assume a game is yours; you have to play right to the last point.
“I have to give props to F.H. for working their way back into that match.”
Friday’s game was the second between the two teams this season to go to five sets. The Warriors, who haven’t secured a win in Super Volley this season, pushed the Crusaders to five in the two teams’ season opener.
“This one as well was a tight one,” said Warriors head coach Lacey McLoughlin. “I’m not disappointed. I’m really happy with how our girls played. It’s the best I’ve seen them play all season.”
F.H. Collins won the third set on an unreturned serve from Warriors’ Player of the Game Quynh Nguyen.
Nguyen’s serve helped the Warriors take an 8-0 lead at the start of the fourth set. The strong serves kept coming as the Warriors took the fourth set on an ace from Rachel Kinvig.
“Our serve-receive in the first two sets was really weak, the girls had a hard time,” said McLoughlin. “They haven’t been playing together for very long – they are a very young team. Some of them have only been playing for a year or two. So their chemistry together isn’t very strong always.
“The first couple of sets they just had to get warmed up, shake out the nerves and get confident. Once they realized they can do it, they can play, they went and had fun.”
The Warriors also lost to the Porter Creek Rams 25-14, 25-12, 25-21 the previous night at home.
The Rams haven’t dropped a Super Volley match all season and won the Dawson Invitational Volleyball Tournament at the end of last month.
“We all try really hard and play 100 per cent every time we get on the court,” said Rams setter Hannah Milner. “We always have positive energy on the court.”
The Crusaders are the defending Super Volley champs from last season while the Rams are the defending Yukon champs.
The Warriors-Crusaders semifinal will take place this Thursday evening at Vanier Catholic Secondary.
Contact Tom Patrick at