The Klondike got a little more gold over the weekend.
Dawson City’s Robert Service School Knights sent Whitehorse teams packing en route to claiming gold in the 9/10 girls division of the YSAA Yukon Volleyball Championships at Porter Creek Secondary School on Saturday.
“I think they did great. I think everyone of them did super, super good,” said Knights head coach Georgia Hammond. “Every game they played better than the last and I pretty much couldn’t ask for anything more.
“It’s a pretty diverse team – we have girls as young as in Grade 8 on this team – and everyone found a way to play well together. I couldn’t be happier.”
The Knights, who only lost one match at the championship, downed the Vanier Crusaders in the semifinal.
The Dawson team then defeated the Porter Creek Rams #2 team 25-21, 25-20 in the final for gold.
They were immediately swarmed by Dawson supporters after the final point.
“We’re feeling pretty excited, pretty accomplished. Happy,” said Knights captain Lulu Bartholomeus. “We beat them a few times, so we knew we could do it.”
The Knights might have beaten the Rams in the round robin, but their confidence wasn’t evident early on. In both sets Dawson trailed at the start.
“It was a really tense room, there was a lot of yelling,” said Hammond. “It takes a few points to get the jitters out and get connecting. But once they connect they did really, really well. So I think it was just nerves in the beginnings of those sets.”
In the deciding second set, the Knights fell behind 7-2 but moved to within one of the Rams on an ace from Kiara Hagen and then tied it 10-10 on a service winner from Bartholomeus.
The Knights went on a six point run on the serve of setter Lauren Jenkins, putting in three unreturned serves and a kill to reach match point at 24-13.
“Out setter (Jenkins) worked super hard and deserves a lot of credit for keeping the players moving and making smart choices, but everyone on the team played their very best,” said Hammond.
With the gold medal just a point away, the Knights’ game got a little rickety. They dropped seven straight points on serves coming from Rams’ Tasha Schwantz before Schwantz finally put one just wide.
The Knights team contained numerous players who won a silver medal at the 2014 14U Canadian West Open last year.
“It’s a little unexpected, but not surprising since we have a lot of talent on our team,” added Hammond.
The F.H. Collins Warriors, who won the title last year, came away with bronze with a 19-25, 25-11, 15-9 win over the Vanier Crusaders.
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