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Sub Zero ends season with fourth place in Calgary

It has been a busy couple weekends for Sub Zero. Yukon's rep volleyball club had four teams compete at national events the last two weekends.

It has been a busy couple weekends for Sub Zero.

Yukon’s rep volleyball club had four teams compete at national events the last two weekends.

Sub Zero closed out the season with its under-16 boys team competing at the Canada West Open in Calgary over the weekend.

The team lost the bronze match to place fourth in Division 2, Tier 1.

The Yukon team exceeded expectations, said coach Mike Prawdzik.

“I think they all played better than they practised, which is anything a coach can hope for,” he said. “Individually they all played better than they practised, and as a team they played stronger as a group.”

Sub Zero won the Tier 1 quarterfinal 11-25, 25-16, 15-12 over Vernon, B.C.‘s Thunder. They then lost to Brandon, Manitoba’s BVC 25-17, 21-25, 15-8 in the semifinal before dropping the bronze game 26-14, 25-23 to Cranbrook, Alberta’s EKVC Red.

Five of the team’s nine matches went to three sets. Of the four that ended in straight-sets, two were wins for Sub Zero.

“One of our goals going down there was to get as many games as possible,” said Prawdzik. “We took down 13 guys, so one of my goals was to get lots of play.”

Getting a special nod from his coach was middle Jack Woodwalker of Porter Creek Secondary.

“That kid played amazing,” said Prawdzik. “He was a natural leader on the court. He had great games - consistent too.

“If I had to pick an MVP, it would be Jack. Other kids have flurries of greatness ... Jack was just solid. He was mopping up everything on defence, shutting guys down at the net.”

The previous weekend three Sub Zero teams competed at major championships in Abbotsford, B.C. and Edmonton, Alta.

Sub Zero’s U14 boys team began with four losses before posting three consecutive wins en route to taking gold in Tier 3 of Division 2 at the Canada West Open in Abbotsford.

“I’m very happy about their performance,” said coach Peter Grundmanis. “I thought we were stacked up pretty well. I knew we weren’t going to be in the top flight, but that we would certainly hold our own and the kids would learn.

“To win a gold medal, we’re very pleased with that.”

The Sub Zero squad claimed gold with a 25-20, 25-14 win over Victoria 14 North. The team advanced to the final with a 25-19, 25-19 win over Richmond’s Air Attack after a tight quarterfinal against Abbotsford’s Orangemen Rebels, winning 25-21, 23-25, 15-13.

Sub Zero’s U14 girls squad, who were also competing in Abbotsford, lost in the Tier 2, Division 2 quarterfinal to the silver-winning Victoria Chargers 25-21, 23-25, 15-7.

The Yukon team, which placed fifth, took wins over Kamloops’ Demons and Calgary’s Sparks Flame at the championship.

“A particular strength of the team proved to be their ability to execute the game plans that the coaching staff drew up during time outs,” said coach Caroline Holway in an email to the News. “This occurred several times during the weekend.

For example, in one game, the girls were down 11-21, and were able, after a timeout, to regain focus and composure in order to win 26-24.”

“Having spectators come over after a match and compliment the team on how much fun they were to watch, even cheering them on when their own daughters were our competitors, was definitely a highlight of the weekend.”

While U14 teams were battling in Abbotsford, the Sub Zero U18 men’s team picked up wins at the Canadian Open in Edmonton.

Sub Zero’s U18 team won three of eight matches to reach the semifinal of Tier 2, Division 2 at the national championships.

“The boys all enjoyed themselves, we had a god tournament,” said Sub Zero coach Russ Tait. “They all performed well, represented us well. It was tough teams and tough competition.”

Also competing in Abbotsford was Dawson City’s 14 Below boys team.

The Dawson team, which is basically the Robert Service School’s Grade 8 boys team, produced three wins before getting knocked out in the semifinal of Tier 3 of Division 2.

Fourteen Below lost in the semifinal 25-21, 25-15 to Victoria 14 North, who went on to lose to the Sub Zero in the final.

The Dawson squad reached the semifinal with a 25-15, 25-23 win over Abbotsford’s Orangemen Rebels.

“Sub Zero is a great program for kids who want to play volleyball beyond the regular (school) season,” added Prawdzik. “It’s five months more of volleyball. You get access to more coaching, more gyms - it’s basically a Yukon All-Star team.”

Contact Tom Patrick at