Grand prizes at most Yukon volleyball tournaments are medals and bragging rights.
Pepsi’s Volleyball Yukon Frostbite Tournament offered a more functional prize – a cool $1,000.
Four men’s teams fought for the dough at the new tournament on Sunday at Porter Creek Secondary.
“It was awesome. It was nice to have four teams. Obviously we’d like to have more, but I thought it was good to have a tournament where you could put a competitive team together and compete for cash prizes,” said Ball Hawks captain Matt Taylor. “They organized it really well and we all had a blast, even though we were all pretty tired and sore by the end of the day. It was definitely worth it.”
The Ball Hawks pocketed the cash with a win over “GB” in the final. The Hawks lost to GB in round robin play but tightened up their game in the last game.
“They actually beat us pretty good and that was good motivation for us to come out solid when we played them again in the final,” said Taylor. “We were making less errors as a team, so we weren’t giving them any free points. So we were basically forcing them to earn points from us … They had to fight for every point that they got.”
The Ball Hawks, a team assembled for the tournament, included Michael Hunter, Nathan Thompson, Shaun McLoughlin, Robin Smith, Zach Moses, Albert Spycher and Paul Payne from Yellowknife, many of who have played for Yukon at Arctic Winter Games and Canada Summer Games in the past.
Spycher was named his team’s MVP.
“He’s a pretty dominate player,” said Taylor. “In that game he basically took over defensively with lots of blocks. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a player get that many blocks in one game. He probably averaged three or four pretty solid blocks per set.
“He was also really aggressive and consistent on his attacks.”
The Ball Hawks advanced to the final with a straight set win over Team Malcolm and Yukon’s Arctic Winter Games team lost in the other semifinal.
Setter Scott Cavasin was named MVP for GB, Jordan Runions for the Arctics team and Ben Grundmanis for Team Malcolm.
Volleyball Yukon hopes to make the tournament an annual event and would like to add a women’s division.
Contact Tom Patrick at