Maren Bilsky of the F.H. Collins Warriors attacks during a game against the Vanier Crusaders on Oct. 17 in Riverdale. The Warriors won the game 3-2. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

Vanier Crusaders takes three of four Super Volley home matches

The Crusaders are tied for first in boys competition and first in girls competition after two weeks

The Yukon Schools Athletic Association’s Super Volley competition continued with week two of matches on Oct. 17 and 18 hosted by Vanier Catholic Secondary School.

The F.H. Collins Warriors visited the Vanier Crusaders on Oct. 17, while the Porter Creek Rams made the trek to Riverdale on Oct. 18.

The Super Volley week opened up with a 3-2 win for the visiting Warriors girls volleyball team over the Crusaders.

In the opening set, the Crusaders defeated the Warriors 25-15 to take the lead.

The Warriors started the second set with a 10-0 lead before the Crusaders clawed back to being down by just three at 14-11. From there, F.H. Collins rattled off 11 straight points to win the second set 25-11.

Long streaks were again the story in the third set. With the Warriors up 9-7, five straight points helped push the set out of reach at 14-7.

F.H. Collins went on to win the set 25-17 and take a 2-1 lead in the game.

After the Warriors jumped out to an 8-5 lead in the fourth set, a timeout by Vanier seemed to settle the home team’s nerves because the Crusaders stormed back to take a 12-9 lead.

The Crusaders cruised from then on, leading 23-12 at one point. Despite efforts by the Warriors to get back into the set, the Crusaders won set four 25-16.

Tied at two sets apiece, the fifth and final set was not particularly close. After a timeout from Vanier down 7-4 failed to help, the Warriors rattled off eight points to win the set 15-6 and the game 3-2.

Warriors head coach Natasha Bilodeau said neither team was particularly impressive on the day.

“I feel like this game was really just about who actually managed to hang in there for that last (set),” said Bilodeau. “I would argue it could have gone either way by a landslide. Probably not the best show from either team tonight.”

Bilodeau said the takeaway message for her players is the importance of communication.

“Every single player has the capability to be the best player in this division of play, but that’s not being reflected right now in how they’re actually playing as a team,” she said. “The focus will be on communication and actually having them put something together as a unit.”

The upcoming trip to Dawson may be just what the team needs, said Bilodeau.

“It’s a small gym, so you have to be loud in that gym. They’re definitely going to have to make a bigger space for themselves on the floor.”

Players of the game were Christine Miral for Vanier and Sammy Demchuk for F.H. Collins.

It was the boys’ turn next as the host Crusaders boys volleyball team earned a comfortable 3-1 victory against the visiting Warriors.

Vanier opened the game with a strong start, forcing a Warriors timeout down 7-1 early. From there the Crusaders held the lead until the bitter end, winning the opening set 25-19.

After the Crusaders again jumped out to an early lead in the second set, the Warriors were able to respond and tie the set at 11-11. After being tied at 17-17, the Crusaders built a 22-18 lead and ultimately won the second set 25-19.

Things started to favour the Warriors in the third set as a bench-heavy unit from Vanier put the Crusaders down 20-13. A timeout from Vanier seemed to steady things, as the home team worked its way back into the set with things all tied up at 24-24.

From there, it was the Warriors who were able to score the final points necessary and win the set 26-24.

The fourth set followed a similar pattern to the first two sets and the Crusaders won 25-15 to secure a 3-1 victory.

Players of the game were Rylan Stoker for Vanier and Alex Schultz for F.H. Collins.

Crusaders head coach Dwayne Stoker said the goal was to cycle through the entire roster and get all the players meaningful game experience.

“The goal tonight was more game experience, but to come away with the victory,” said Stoker. “At the end of the day, we wanted to make sure everybody got on the floor.”

The Crusaders’ third set loss featured a number of bench players and Stoker was impressed with the effort to stay with the Warriors.

“We set little goals and see how close we can get,” said Stoker.

The coach added that the team is already very close-knit.

“When times get tough, it’s that closeness that prevails,” said Stoker.

On Oct. 18, the Porter Creek Rams were in Riverdale to take on the Vanier Crusaders.

In the girls game, the Crusaders beat the Rams 3-0. Players of the game were Gabby Rayo for Vanier and Jada Allen for Porter Creek.

Later that day in the boys game, Vanier defeated Porter Creek 3-1. Players of the game were Tony Kim for Vanier and Jaxson Fitzsimmons for Porter Creek.

After two weeks of competition, the Crusaders and Rams are tied for first in boys competition at 2-1 with the Warriors third at 0-2.

In girls competition, Vanier is in first with a 2-1 record while F.H. Collins is second at 1-1 and Porter Creek is third at 1-2.

Week three of Super Volley is Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, when the F.H. Collins Warriors host the Porter Creek Rams and Vanier Crusaders respectively.

Next up for senior volleyball teams in the Yukon is the Dawson Invitational Volleyball Tournament from Oct. 24 to 26 at Robert Service School in Dawson City.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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