When Porter Creek Secondary hosts the Super Volley semifinals on Nov. 3, there won’t be a team from that school playing in either game.
Both the Porter Creek Rams senior boys and senior girls placed first in the regular season, earning a bye into the final the following night where they will face the winner of matchups between the F.H. Collins Warriors and the Vanier Crusaders.
“PC’s strength is they are playing as a real strong team unit,” said Warriors senior boys head coach Mike Kelly. “They’re competitive … they want to compete for every point. Hosting the first Super Volley at their school, they got on a run and rode that high and it really set them up well.”
The Whitehorse high school volleyball league’s regular season wrapped up with games between the Warriors and the Crusaders at Vanier Catholic Secondary on Friday.
The Warriors defeated the Crusaders 25-20, 25-19, 19-25, 25-22 in the girls game and 25-13, 18-25, 25-13, 25-23 in the boys game.
While the Rams went undefeated in four regular season games to earn the bye to the boys final, it was much close on the girls side.
Despite their win on Friday, the Warriors finished the regular season with the same 3-1 record as the Rams, but missed the bye through a count back of sets for and against.
“We did some great things, there are still things to work on,” said Warriors head coach Adam Robinson. “We got everybody in the game … that’s always a great moment for a coach when you can everybody play and everybody do great things. That’s a highlight for me in this game.”
After dropping the third set — to the glee of the home school crowd — the Warriors came out to a 5-0 lead in the fourth set on the serve of Emily Muir. The crowd was again whipped into a frenzy as the Crusaders dispatched three match points for the Warrior before anticlimactically falling on a rotation violation.
“I keep telling the girls it’s a mental game, they have to keep thinking within themselves and figure out what they’re doing wrong and start to make those corrections, bring it to the court and do their best,” said Crusaders head coach Bruce Gillard. “I try to keep them positive and hopefully we can pull the next one out and make it to the final.”
Muir, who plays both left side and setter, was named her team’s Player of the Game.
“She came in to set after sitting off for a (set) and really did a good job. It’s hard to come in as a setter and pick up where the other setter left off,” said Robinson.
Middle player Aleshia Kremer was named Player of the Game for the Crusaders.
“She was big on the net today, she had lots of great blocks, good hits and she connected with everything,” said Gillard.
With an undefeated record, Porter Creek’s senior boys were guaranteed a bye to the Super Volley final before last week’s games. That just means Friday was a chance to tryout some new things in a game setting, said Warriors coach Mike Kelly.
“The games are still important because there’s only so much time in the season and we have lots of little things to work on,” said Kelly. “It’s nice to play without the pressure of having to win because you can experiment. We used the game to experiment with some creative play.”
After dropping the second set the Warriors came out roaring in the third, taking a 10-0 lead on the serve of Skyler Bryant. Crusaders hitter Jesse McCuaig ended the run with a kill before Warriors’ Sam Finton put his team back on track with an ace.
“Volleyball is such a fickle sport,” said Kelly. “One mistake can lead to two, which can lead to three, lead to four. We weren’t doing anything fancy but we just made sure we made our serve.”
Vanier’s Daniel Moses was named his team’s Player of the Game while Warriors power Adrian Robinson received the corresponding nod.
“What stood out for him today was his passing,” said Kelly. “It looks much easier when we have a good pass because we can run our offence in what we call in system. Because he was passing so well the other players did better. Obviously, when he was hitting he did quite well too.”
The Porter Creek Rams beat the Crusaders 25-11, 30-32, 25-22, 25-17 in the girls game and 23-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-10 in the boys game Thursday.
All three Whitehorse schools will send teams to play in the Dawson Invitational Volleyball Tournament this weekend in Dawson City.
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org