The Dawson Diggers travelled farther than any other team to compete at the Canadian West Open in Regina, Sask.
The lengthy journey may have taken a toll on the Dawson City team at the under-15 boys volleyball western championships.
“We travelled all day Friday and we didn’t get a practice in, so we were pretty rusty the first day,” said Diggers head coach Steve Laszlo.
After taking three straight losses on Saturday, the Diggers bounced back with a pair of wins before a three-set loss in the Tier 4 quarterfinal on Sunday.
“We had a great experience,” said Laszlo. “We had never been to U15s before. The kids had a such a great time last year going to Abbotsford that they wanted to do it again this year. They dedicated themselves again and fundraised and practised for a couple months leading up to the trip.
“It was successful. We progressively got better with every game.”
The Diggers penciled a check in the win column with a come-from-behind win over the NAVC Gold Bears. Dawson won 15-25, 26-24, 16-14 over the Edmonton team.
They added another with a 26-24, 16-25, 15-9 win over Regina’s RVC Green.
The Diggers then fell 19-25, 25-14, 15-9 to the Jr. Sun Dogs from Swift Current, Sask., in the quarter.
“We had all the boys at different parts of the weekend step up and contribute to how well we did,” said Laszlo. “I don’t want to single out any players because they are all important parts to our team. They all upped their skill level to compete at that tournament.”
The Dawson City Knights girls team won silver in Tier 2 of Division 3 at the under-14 westerns in Abbotsford, B.C., the previous weekend.
Both teams spent months fundraising for the trips with everything from shoveling driveways to babysitting to bake sales. The teams raised a total of about $25,000, with about $8,000 coming from donations, and are expecting another $8,000 from grants.
“They did all their fundraising together, they played against each other, hosted Super Volley exhibition tournaments in Dawson to tune up for the tournament,” said Laszlo. “The parents of both teams hosted a gala in Dawson and made over $2,000 … about a month ago.
“They did a lot of work and parents and extended family all pitched in.”
The Knights’ silver wasn’t the only piece
of hardware brought home from Abbotsford this season.
Yukon’s Sub Zero Blizzards U14 boys team won bronze in Division 2 at the B.C. Provincial Volleyball Championships three weeks ago. They captured the bronze in a 16-25, 25-11, 15-12 win over Abbotsford’s OVC Lions.
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