F.H. Collins Warriors player Maya Cairns-Locke attacks at the net during the 2019 girls Senior Volleyball Championship final against the Vanier Crusaders on Nov. 23 at Porter Creek Secondary School. The Warriors won the game 2-1. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

F.H. Collins Warriors victorious at 2019 Senior Girls Volleyball Championships to win rare Triple Crown

The F.H. Collins Secondary School Warriors girls volleyball team did what few before have managed to accomplish when the team won the Triple Crown of Yukon volleyball with victories at the Dawson Invitational Volleyball Tournament, Super Volley and the Yukon championships.

The Warriors defeated the Vanier Catholic Secondary School Crusaders 2-0 to win the girls Senior Volleyball Championship on Nov. 23 at Porter Creek Secondary School in Whitehorse.

Quick out of the gate, the Warriors built an early four-point lead in the first set and cruised to a comfortable 25-17 win.

In the second set the Warriors continued to roll as the team again built an early lead and held on, this time winning 25-12 to win the best-of-three game for the championship.

Leading the way for the Warriors was tournament MVP Emma Boyd who, among other things, had key plays on the last two points of the tournament to keep the points alive for her team.

Another stand out for the Warriors was the team’s serving, particularly the runs Maya Cairns-Locke was able to string together throughout the game.

Warriors head coach Natasha Bilodeau said her team put in a lot of effort to achieve the results it did.

“This team worked really, really hard to get where we are this year for sure,” said Bilodeau. “But they’re also — aside from that — a really talented group of kids, so it was more about putting things together than really having to train a lot or change a lot. It was about making them work as a unit and a team.”

Prior to the tournament, Boyd told the News she and her teammates were focused on building camaraderie.

Asked about that sentiment, Bilodeau said the team finished the season playing as a group.

“I think their last Super Volley games, I think this entire tournament, and certainly this final, was a reflection of the fact that they came together as a team for sure,” said Bilodeau.

The Warriors girls volleyball team also won a Triple Crown three years ago in 2016, which was believed by YSAA officials to be the first in Yukon history at the time.

In the girls bronze medal game, the Porter Creek Secondary School Rams beat the Robert Service School Knights 2-1.

The Watson Lake Secondary School Bears finished fifth in the competition.

In addition to a tournament MVP, coaches also named a team of all-stars.

This year’s all-star team included Kate Krocker from the Knights, Iliana Stehelin from the Rams, Jenny Lai from the Crusaders, Amber Dixon from the Bears, and Paige Poelman and Cairns-Locke from the Warriors.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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The F.H. Collins Warriors celebrate winning the 2019 girls Senior Volleyball Championship on Nov. 23 at Porter Creek Secondary School in Whitehorse. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

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