“I’m stunned,” said Holy Family Hurricanes player Megan Anderson.
“I am feeling relieved and stunned. Hidden Valley had a record and I didn’t know we could beat them.”
It was definitely an exciting finish to the Yukon Grade 7 Tripleball Championships hosted by the Yukon Schools’ Athletic Association at Porter Creek Secondary School on Saturday.
The Hurricanes fought back from a set down to defeat the Hidden Valley Huskies, who were going for their fifth straight girls volleyball title, by a score of 20-25, 26-24, 15-12.
Anderson wasn’t the only one surprised by the win.
“I’m freakin’ out because Hidden Valley is really, really good and they’ve had a record for a while and we broke that record,” said Hurricanes’ Sienne Secord.
The Hurricanes came back from a set down to win, but the Huskies almost pulled off a big comeback of their own in the third. Down 10-4, the Huskies managed to even it at 12-12, but the Hurricanes had a little more gas in their tanks to get them over the finish line.
Secord gave her team a 13-12 lead with an unreturned serve before teammate Caitlan Doyle put a kill down the line for match point and then a tip over the Huskies’ blockers for Holy Family’s first girls title since 2003.
“Paige Poelman and Caitlyn Doyle (stood out) ... Caitlyn scored our winning point and Paige scored many of our points,” said Anderson.
All three sets were neck and neck. Tied 18-18 in the opening set of the final, the Huskies took the lead on a service winner from Nia Teramura before Sarah Fortin sent a back-row bump over the net, hitting the line for 20-18. Following an ace from teammate Ilianna Stehelin, Forton did it again at set point.
“We were really stressed and stuff, and we had team spirit and we weren’t stressed any more,” said Secord of falling behind a set.
“We just had to have team spirit altogether because if someone is dissing someone else, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Anderson.
The Hurricanes kept their team spirit working for them right through the second. With the Huskies two points from a fifth consecutive girls title at 24-24, Hurricanes Laura Kos and Amelia Stewart produced back-to-back kills for the set.
“(I said) just keep playing, have fun and just reminded them of all the techniques we’ve been learning since the beginning of the year,” said Hurricanes head coach Don Fedus. “Just to enjoy it, have fun and stay positive with each other. And it worked this time.”
“It was a really fun coaching-year with these girls,” he added. “They were really into the sport, they always listened and they were just a real pleasure to coach. No matter what happened in that game, it was a really fun season.”
In the battle for bronze, the Whitehorse Elementary Wolves defeated the Jack Hulland Hawks 25-18, 25-23.
Tripleball is a modified form of volleyball used for skill development that encourages longer rallies and is approved by Volleyball Canada. It follows a sequence of three rallies: the first is introduced by the server of a team, the second and third rallies are started by a light toss of the ball to each team by their coach, and so on.
“There were a lot of good teams here and it was really cool to see how the tripleball was working because we’re getting rallies back and forth,” said Fedus. “We had a time limit on games on Friday and because the rallies were going back and forth, lots of games ran out of time. It’s nice to see that tripleball is working for the kids.”
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