The F.H. Collins Warriors will be feeling the pressure in a couple weeks as the team to beat come the Yukon Volleyball Championships.
They won the Dawson Invitational Volleyball Tournament, went undefeated in Super Volley, and are now needing the Yukon title to secure the school’s first triple crown in senior boys volleyball.
“I’d say we’re feeling fairly confident,” said Warriors’ Ben Grundmanis. “We have a few key players who really help us out – Peter (Jacob) and Max (Clarke) – and I feel like we’re going to go for the triple crown. We’re going to keep pushing for it.”
The Warriors completed an undefeated Super Volley season with a 25-17, 20-25, 25-21, 25-19 over the Porter Creek Rams in the final on Friday at Vanier Catholic Secondary.
The Warriors took the first set on a big block by Clarke and the third set on a cross-court kill from Jacob. Both were named season All-Stars.
Grundmanis, the team’s rock-solid setter, was named the league’s MVP following the final.
“We came out of the gate slow, we started to make a lot of errors,” said Warriors head coach Denis Boyd. “I’m not sure if we were intimidated because we’ve never had a triple crown before and this was another large step towards it. It just took us a while to get going. We did have key contributors firing on all cylinders, like Peter Jacob and Ben Grundmanis – they really held us for the first three sets there. But the team really came together, worked hard together and we battled through together to get it.”
“I think it’s awesome,” said Grundmanis of the MVP nod. “It’s a great feeling that the team recognizes the setter, even though I don’t hit too much.”
The Warriors definitely don’t want a replay of last year’s ending to the season. Last year the Warriors also won in Dawson, captured the Super Volley title, but were then prevented the triple crown with a loss to the Vanier
Crusaders in the final of the Yukon championships.
Like last year, the Crusaders placed third (i.e. last) in Super Volley with a 25-13, 22-25, 19-25, 25-19, 15-11 loss to the Rams in the Thursday’s semifinal.
“I think we’re all disappointed,” said Crusaders captain Kieran Stacey. “It was a close game, we had stretches of playing well, we just had a few too many mistakes. I guess we just have to shake it off and look forward to the Yukon championships.”
Porter Creek took the first set Thursday on a diving dig from Jack Woodwalker that went over the net and found a hole. The Rams also got to set point in the fourth set on a kill from Woodwalker, who was named a league All-Star.
The silver-winning Rams took the match on a block from middle Brad Jacobson, who also had some key blocks in Friday’s final.
“It was good to win the semis – it went to five sets – and in (Friday’s) game it was good to win a set off them, at least,” said Rams setter Trygg Jensen. “We haven’t done that all year. We’ll take that into Yukon champs hopefully.”
Super Volley All-Stars
Parker Olson (Crusaders)
Daniel Moses (Crusaders)
Jack Woodwalker (Rams)
Chance Goodman (Rams)
Max Clarke (Warriors)
Peter Jacob (Warriors)
MVP Ben Grundmanis (Warriors)
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