The only team to defeat the Porter Creek Rams senior girls at the Pepsi Yukon Volleyball Championships were the F.H. Collins Warriors during the round-robin. But it was a different story when it came down to the final.
The Rams won gold with a 25-16, 23-25, 25-17, 25-19 win over the Warriors in the final at Porter Creek Secondary School on Saturday.
“I’m super proud of our team,” said Rams co-captain Rowan Brown, who was named to the All-Star team. “This is an awesome way to finish our senior year. “We have five girls on the team that are graduating and I don’t think we could have ended our volleyball season and high school any better.”
It was an especially great end of the season for the Rams’ other captain, Brittany Milner. In addition to producing dozens of assists as the team’s setter, Milner tallied three kills, five digs and an ace.
RELATED:See slideshow of the tournament.
Her efforts resulted in her being named Tournament MVP.
“I was pretty happy – very happy, actually,” said Milner of the honour.
“I was so happy with my team. We worked super hard for it,” she added. “We had our first set, which was good – we worked super hard. We had more energy, more motivation.
“Our main goal was to stay up, not to get down.”
The Rams were never trailing in the opening set and went up 22-14 on a back-row kill from Milner. They reached set-point on a dig from Savanna Goodman that found a gap in the Warriors defence. Goodman then served out the set.
“We struggle at times with letting the opposing team get five or six in a row,” said Warriors head coach Jordan Borgford. “That’s kind of how the set ended. Basically, from that point on we went point for point.
“I talked to the girls and we had to take that momentum into the second set and we ended up taking the second set.”
The Warriors maintained small leads throughout the second set. They eventually got to set-point on a kill from All-Star Jenna Hougen. Hougen amassed 10 kills in the game and also had three
digs and a block.
“If you watch these tournaments, the teams that swing usually win,” said Borgford. “You have to keep swinging. Kids get tight a little and they’ll end up tipping when they should be swinging. In that second set, we swung a lot.”
In the second set, “Our energy went down a bit, and our communication,” said Milner.
The Rams snatched the third set on six consecutive points won on the hard, flat serve of Milner.
Porter Creek took their final lead of the championship with a kill from middle Sadie Whitelaw, another key player in the win. Whitelaw had six kills, four blocks, five digs and an ace in the final.
“Megan (Lanigan) had some super good hits, Sadie (Whitelaw) killed the ball every time,” said Milner. “Chrissy (Anderson) had a great attitude, had some great hits. She knows how to play ball.”
The Rams also won the Dawson Invitational Volleyball Tournament at the end of October, but finished second in Whitehorse’s Super Volley high school league.
The Vanier Crusaders, who finished first in Super Volley, took the bronze after losing to the Rams in the semifinal on Friday.
The Warriors advanced to the final with a win over Dawson’s Robert Service School Knights.
“I’m really happy. My team was awesome out there,” said Rams head coach Kendra Thomson.
“(Milner) had a really good tournament,” she added. “She’s always very level-headed, she’s always very positive. She never shuts down on herself or her teammates.”
Other standouts for the Warriors include Rachel Kinvig with six kills, three digs and an ace, and Emily Dorosz with seven digs, two blocks and a kill.
See full coverage of the championships in Wednesday’s Yukon News.
Rowan Brown (Rams)
Jenna Hougen (Warriors)
Daria Jordan (Rams)
Corey Baxter (Warriors)
Tatum Koser (Crusaders)
Natalja Blanchard (Knights)
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org