They had grit, determination, but not enough wins to continue on at the Arctic Winter Games.
Yukon’s female volleyball team was eliminated from the tournament in their final round-robin game with a 27-25, 25-19 loss to Team Northwest Territories Thursday morning.
“I’m very proud. The girls finished stronger than they started, which was amazing for our team,” said Yukon head coach Kasia Leary. “I’m sad it’s over and I’m exhausted, but they played so hard. Our big thing was in the end they wanted to play classy and fight right to the end, and I think they did that.”
Yukon prevailed through some tough moments in their final game. They fought off three set-points for N.W.T. in the first set. Down 24-21, Yukon captain Chanel Newell tipped the ball over N.W.T. blockers for a point and teammate Avery Bramadat put an ace down the line before a missed N.W.T. attack evened it 24-24.
Facing another set-point at 26-25, Yukon’s Tayla McNally hammered a kill to tie the set again. N.W.T. then took the set on a pair of kills.
“We had some struggles with the team, with relationships and emotions, but we’ve really come through it and got rid of it on the court and I’m really proud we were able to do that,” said Yukon middle Chloe Turner-Davis.
“We came here wanting to get a medal of course, like every team does, but I’m happy with how we played. We can still smile after the games because regardless of what we placed, we still had a really good Games.”
Yukon finished the round-robin with a 1-9 record in a very busy five-day span. Their one win came in their first game in Fairbanks, beating Nunavut 26-24, 25-22 on Sunday.
Nunavut also finished with a 1-9 record in the round-robin but placed sixth behind Yukon in fifth.
“They’ve had their moments of brilliance in every single game,” said Leary. “Whether it was amazing defence or our hits were going so well or our serving was consistent. When we played against Yamal yesterday, they dug every ball. It was phenomenal. I’ve never seen these girls play defence like that.”
Team Yamal went undefeated in the round-robin with 10 straight wins. Final results from the female volleyball were not available by press time.
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