Whitehorse is by no means a powerhouse on the volleyball court when it comes to national level competition, but that does not mean some local teams were not turning heads at the 2010 17U/18U Canadian Open in Abbotsford, BC, last weekend.
“It’s quite amazing, the number of players, the interest level and the talent that we have in Whitehorse, for being so isolated and such a small town,” said McLoughlin. “Everyone is always impressed by how well we do.
“Out of it there are a few players whom have generated some interest from colleges and universities. And other players are generating interest for the future.”
Four local “Sub Zero” teams – Whitehorse squads governed by Volleyball Yukon – competed against the best in the country over the weekend, with each team picking up at least one win to end the season.
The Sub Zero Chill, Whitehorse’s U-18 men’s team, not only produced wins, they took home hardware. Pushed down to a lower tier with three straight losses on the opening day, the Chill went on to take silver in Tier 4 on Sunday.
The second day the Chill went 1-2 with a 23-25, 25-22, 15-10 win over the Apex Ninjas from Vancouver. On Sunday the team defeated Edmonton’s Fog Eclipse 25-18, 21-25, 15-12 and won 25-20, 25-16 over Burnaby’s Focus Primo to reach the finals, where they lost to the Lethbridge Kodiaks 25-19, 25-16.
“I think the big thing we saw between all the different teams we sent down there was the improvement that happened throughout the course of the tournament,” said McLoughlin, head coach of Sub Zero Chill. “The (opposing) teams play between four and nine tournaments before they even get to this tournament, so they have a ton of game experience. But for most of our teams this was their first tournament – or first real matches – they had played.”
Whitehorse’s U-18 women’s team, the Sub Zero Freeze, eventually lost in the Tier 4 quarterfinal against the Halifax Tigers, but did pull off a couple wins en route.
After opening with a loss, the Freeze took a three-set, 21-25, 25-12, 15-8 win over Edmonton’s Fog Rush. The following day the Freeze picked up a tight 25-22, 15-25, 15-13 win over the Fort St. John Ice.
The two Sub Zero U-17 teams both began the tournament with straight-set losses on Friday but managed to get a check in the win column as the weekend progressed.
Whitehorse’s U-17 girls team, the Sub Zero Ice, competing in Division 2, came from behind to beat Edmonton’s Fog Rush 21-25, 25-12, 15-8 on Friday and then defeated the Fort St. John Ice 25-22, 15-25, 15-13 on Saturday, losing in the Tier 4 quarterfinal Sunday.
The U-17 men, also called the Sub Zero Chill, started out with a rough road, suffering six straight losses before picking up a 16-25, 25-21, 15-13 win over East Vancouver on Sunday in the Tier 4 quarterfinal. They went on to lose 25-17, 22-25, 15-9 to Sherwood Park their next match to be eliminated.
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