The high school volleyball season concluded on Nov. 17 with the finals of the Yukon Schools Athletic Association’s Senior Volleyball Championships at Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Whitehorse.
The three-day tournament featured boys and girls teams from F.H. Collins Secondary School, Porter Creek Secondary School, Robert Service School and Vanier, as well as a girls team from Watson Lake Secondary School.
When the dust settled on the weekend, the Porter Creek Rams and the F.H. Collins Warriors were the girls and boys champions, respectively.
The boys final best-of-three-sets matchup between Vanier and F.H. Collins presented a unique scenario where all three major competitions — Super Volley, the Dawson Invitational Volleyball Tournament and the Senior Volleyball Championships — could have different winners.
In the first set, the Crusaders started strong and cruised to victory 25-15 buoyed by a raucous home crowd.
Emotions started to play a role in the game in the second set when a coach for the Warriors was given a yellow card as was a coach for the Crusaders, followed almost immediately by a red card for the Warriors coach, costing F.H. Collins a point.
The Warriors conceded another point when a player was also shown a red card, leaving the score 9-9.
Things slipped away for the Crusaders from then on, as an injury forced a major positional realignment late in the second set before the Warriors ultimately won 25-16.
Set three, a race to 15, seemed too much for the Crusaders to handle with their new-look lineup and the Warriors won 15-10 to take the match and the championship two sets to one.
Tournament MVP went to Warriors’ setter Griffin Bisson.
Earlier in the day, the Porter Creek Rams and F.H. Collins Warriors squared off in the girls finals — a rematch of the Dawson tournament final when the Warriors were victorious.
The Rams won a tight first set (25-23) and quickly built a 12-5 lead in the second before the Warriors began a comeback.
Clawing back to within three at 16-13, the Warriors didn’t have an answer for the Rams who upped the pressure and ultimately won the second set 25-19, clinching the title.
Porter Creek’s Sarah Hardie was named tournament MVP.
On Nov. 16, bragging rights and the title of rural champion were on the line during a girls match between the Watson Lake Bears and the Robert Service Knights.
Despite having played each other in the round robin early in the day, both teams were ready to compete, said Peter Grundmanis, executive director for the Yukon Schools Athletics Association.
“They had both played a lot of matches, but they were really pumped up for that match,” said Grundmanis. “Both of them were fighting really hard for it. It was great to see.”
On the court, the Bears came up on top winning two sets to zero.
In the girls bronze medal match, the Vanier Crusaders defeated the Watson Lake Bears 2-0 (26-24, 25-18), and in the boys bronze medal match, the Porter Creek Rams defeated the Robert Service Knights 2-0 (25-19, 25-14).
Tournament organizers also recognized all-star teams following the conclusion of play.
The girls all-star team included Watson Lake’s Jennifer Kroeker, Vanier’s Mary Londero, F.H. Collins’ Maya Cairns-Locke and Payton Twardochleb, and Porter Creek’s Kendra Peters and Caelon Workman.
The boys all-star team consisted of Robert Service’s David Joseph, Porter Creek’s Seth Carey, F.H. Collins’ Monas Toews and Felix Maltais, and Vanier’s Quinn Howard and Arcel Siosan.
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