The high school volleyball season came to a thrilling conclusion Saturday at the Canada Games Centre, with the Porter Creek Rams winning gold in both the senior boys’ and girls’ divisions.
The PC boys clinched gold in an exciting match against a tough FH Collins squad, which went back and forth until the third game, when the Rams managed to make short work of FH.
PC took the first game 25-20, but the FH Warriors bounced back in the second game — taking it in a 25-23 nail biter.
FH tried to ride that momentum into the tiebreaker, but the Porter Creek boys had too much firepower, and heavy spikes from Jake Schneider and Duncan Smith wrapped the game up quickly, 15-9.
“That was some great athleticism — some of those FH boys were awesome,” said Porter Creek coach Sukh Sandhu. “Afshin Armitabar deserves a lot of credit; he played a great tournament.”
FH’s Armitabar was named to the all-star team, as was his teammate Nick Fabbro-Swizdaryk.
Vanier’s Jordan Mackenzie also made the list, as did Porter Creek’s Jake Schneider, Robbie Stuckey and Duncan Smith.
The tournament MVP was PC’s Kane Dawe.
“He’s an amazing setter, great hands, quick on his feet and those jump sets — he’s playing against guys twice his size, really amazing,” said Sandhu.
The team has done a lot with a few bodies.
“We had a 10-man team — but we’re down to six,” said Sandhu. “That’s Yukon style, though, there isn’t much of a bench.”
Porter Creek’s win on Saturday clinched the coveted triple crown of Yukon volleyball — it won the Dawson tournament, repeating as champs there.
It also beat Vanier last weekend at Super Volley, and ended a drought at the Yukon Championships.
“As far as the championships go, I don’t think our boys have won it for at least five years — it’s been Vanier for so long. It’s pretty special,” said Sandhu.
In the senior girls’ final, it was all Porter Creek.
With a 14-player roster, PC dominated the Watson Lake Bears, winning in two games, 25-15, 25-14.
PC cruised to a perfect season, winning every game it played — and also capturing the triple crown.
“We lost two sets, but we never lost a game,” said PC captain Kendra Thomson, who was named tournament MVP.
“It’s one of those special years — we’ve been together as a team for four years, most of us — I’ve got a huge bench, 14 girls, and any of them can go in at any time. To be a coach and have that is a treat for sure,” said PC coach Tara Wardle.
Wardle added that the team has travelled to Anchorage, competing against tough US teams.
“It’s good exposure, we come back after playing the best teams in Alaska, not beating them maybe, but learning a lot and bringing it back to Whitehorse.”
The Porter Creek girls’ volleyball dynasty looks pretty solid for next year, with only three players graduating — the bulk of the team will be back to defend its title.
The senior girls’ all–star team included Porter Creek’s Michelle Dawson, Jessica Borgford and Emily Fedoriak, FH Collins’ Rhiannon Jones and Vanier’s Michelle Bergsma and Kelcy Tousignant.
Other winners at the Yukon Volleyball Championships were:
Grade 8 girls — Vanier beat FH Collins (25-21, 20-25, 15-9)
Grade 8 boys — Vanier beat Porter Creek (default)
Grade 9/10 girls — Vanier beat Porter Creek (25-27, 25-23, 15-5)
Grade 9/10 boys — Porter Creek