Sub Zero wins tier at Calgary tourney

The Sub Zero U18 men's volleyball team was short on players and up against seasoned teams with more tournament experience. But the Yukon rep team persevered to win seven out of eight matches over the weekend.

The Sub Zero U18 men’s volleyball team was short on players and up against seasoned teams with more tournament experience.

But the Yukon rep team persevered to win seven out of eight matches over the weekend.

The Sub Zero squad won Tier 2 of Division 2 at the Premier Tournament, the third or three in the series, hosted by Alberta Volleyball in Calgary.

“We beat some good teams on the second day and the boys had some real strong performances,” said Sub Zero head coach Russ Tait. “We went down with eight guys and one sprained his ankle the first day, so we didn’t have any subs at all. So they played a lot of volleyball.”

The Yukon team finished first in their pool with four straight wins Saturday. They then lost their first playoff game to the Grand Prairie Wolves, pushing them into Tier 2.

“Had we got by them, I’m pretty confident we would have been top-four,” said Tait.

“Inexperience can cost you a close match like that. I think they did well on the last day was because of the things they learned in the loss to Grande Prairie.

“This was the first tournament for all these boys (this season). The other teams have played several tournaments.”

Sub Zero went on to defeat a team from Northern Alberta Volleyball Club in Edmonton in the tier’s semifinal and beat a club team from the Central Alberta Kings in the final. Yukon won both matches in straight sets.

“I thought it went really well, personally,” said Sub Zero captain Jon Koltun. “We weren’t quite ready for the hits that came at us in our first playoff game, but after that we adjusted good, stepped up our defence a lot, helping us get to where we ended up in the end.”

Even in the loss, Yukon fought until the end. Sub Zero dropped the final set 29-27 after coming back from down 24-17.

“We started to get the hang of it at the end,” said Koltun. “We had a big comeback attempt at the end, but it was not quite enough to win that game.”

Sub Zero also played the Keyano College Huskies from Fort McMurray, Alta., a team that former Sub Zero player Albert Spycher played for last year.

“Their coach was really interested in Jon Koltun,” said Tait. “They were basically offering him a spot, if he’s interested. So that was neat.

“He’s a real versatile athlete; he can play a lot of different positions if needed to,” he added. “He’s definitely a leader on the team.”

Koltun and power Cody Park are the only returning players from last year’s U18 men’s Sub Zero team who won Tier 3 at the Canadian Open Volleyball Championships. The team finished 17th overall out of 64 of the country’s best U18 teams, the highest a Yukon team has ever finished at the nationals in the U18 men’s division.

Six members of last year’s team, including Spycher, went on to play at the post-secondary level in the fall.

This year’s team includes Austin Turner-Davis, Kieran Small, Max Clarke, Stephen Grundmanis and Dawson City’s Alistair Brook.

The team also includes libero Ben Grundmanis and right-side Zachary Giczi, who are both U15 players.

Sub Zero will represent the Yukon at the Canadian Open Volleyball Championships next month in Edmonton.

“Jon had a tremendous tournament for us, as did Cody Park, who got stronger and stronger as the tournament went on,” said Tait. “All the boys were really consistent and played well.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maria Metzen off the start line of the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s sled dog race on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Mushers race in preparation for FirstMate Babe Southwick

The annual race is set for Feb. 12 and 13.

The Yukon government is making changes to the medical travel system, including doubling the per diem and making destinations for medical services more flexible. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Subsidy for medical travel doubled with more supports coming

The change was recommended in the Putting People First report endorsed by the government

Chloe Sergerie, who was fined $500 under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> on Jan. 12, says she made the safest choice available to her when she entered the territory. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Woman fined $500 under CEMA says she made ‘safest decision’ available

Filling out a declaration at the airport was contrary to self-isolation, says accused

The Yukon Department of Education building in Whitehorse on Dec. 22, 2020. Advocates are calling on the Department of Education to reverse their redefinition of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) that led to 138 students losing the program this year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Advocates call redefinition of IEPs “hugely concerning,” call for reversal

At least 138 students were moved off the learning plans this year

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

The Fish Lake area viewed from the top of Haeckel Hill on Sept. 11, 2018. The Yukon government and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced they are in the beginning stages of a local area planning process for the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local area planning for Fish Lake announced

The Government of Yukon and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced in… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Fire damage, photographed on Jan. 11, to a downtown apartment building which occurred late in the evening on Jan. 8. Zander Firth, 20, from Inuvik, was charged with the arson and is facing several other charges following his Jan. 12 court appearance. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
More charges for arson suspect

The Inuvik man charged in relation to the fire at Ryder Apartments… Continue reading

The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Grace period for new lobbyist registry ends

So far nine lobbyists have registered their activities with politicians in the territory

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21, 2020. Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive up to $20,000 to help recover from losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Details released on relief funding for tourism and culture non-profits

Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive… Continue reading

Most Read