The F.H. Collins Warriors need just one more win to complete a flawless Super Volley season.
The senior boys team closed out the regular season with two wins last week to finish 4-0. With the undefeated record the Warriors pocket a bye into Friday’s final where they will play the winner of Thursday’s semifinal between the Porter Creek Rams and the Vanier Crusaders.
“It’s a good group of guys who have really started pushing each other,” said Warriors head coach Denis Boyd. “They’ve been friends for a very long time, they’ve been coming up through the system playing volleyball with each other. Some of the guys, like (middle) Etienne (Geoffroy-Gagnon), really hold the other guys accountable, don’t let anyone slack off, be lazy. They’re just a tight group who really like training hard and playing hard.”
The Warriors topped the Rams 25-19, 25-17, 25-23 on Thursday and the Crusaders 25-14, 25-15, 25-9 on Friday in a pair of home games. The Rams and Crusaders are heading into Thursday’s semifinal with symmetrical 1-3
Super Volley – the Whitehorse high school league – records.
The Rams gave the Warriors a run for their money in the third set on Thursday. Porter Creek jumped out to a 4-0 lead on the serve of Christian Oumett and the score fell into ties 13 times right up to 23-23. Warriors’ Tim
Schirmer sent a spike long, putting the Rams up 23-22, but then knocked a cross-court kill to tie the set 23-23. Schirmer was named his team’s Player of the Game.
Teammate Tristan Sparks hammered home a kill for match point and then put up a big block to finish off the Rams.
“We were a lot more consistent in our play,” said Rams head coach Derick Bilodeau. “Although we lost all three sets, the sets were a lot closer than they were at the beginning of the season. So that’s all we’re working on: being more consistent with our play on our side of the net. We know F.H. Collins is a better team, they have more skilled players and they’ve been playing together longer than the players on our team, so we’re just working on getting better as a team and getting better as individuals on our side of the court.”
Rams middle Chance Goodman was named his team’s Player of the Game on Thursday.
“This is his first year playing volleyball. He came over from hockey and he’s made a great transition into volleyball,” said Bilodeau. “He’s adapting really well and is getting better every game, every match that we play.”
The Warriors came out firing on all cylinders in Friday’s win over the Crusaders. On the serve of Schirmer, with some fireballs from his team’s hitters, the Warriors jumped out to an 11-0 lead in the first set. They later took the set on an ace from Schirmer.
After Schirmer registered a kill to win the second set, he went back to the service line to help his team go up 9-0 in the third set. The Warriors reached match point on a kill from Peter Jacob before a winning serve from Marcus Deuling.
Deuling played his first game as setter on Friday and was named his team’s Player of the Game.
“It was interesting,” said Deuling. “All the guys were great, pointed out where I had to go, so it was really the other guys who made it happen.”
“Just great guys to be with. We all love playing volleyball,” he added of his team. “Etienne (Geoffroy-Gagnon) really pulls us together and keeps us going if we’re down. Everyone has a role and we all play well.”
The Crusaders, who are the defending Yukon champs, are still figuring out the right configuration on the court, said head coach Cody Park, who played for the Vanier senior boys just a couple years ago.
“(The Crusaders) are really good players, we just have to figure out how to play as a team,” said Park. “They are really young as well; I have a lot of Grade 11s.
“We were switching it up, so a lot of people were in random positions. Only three were playing their actual positions today. So we’re just trying to figure it out and get them in the right headspace because it’s always the headspace that gets them. They get down on themselves.”
Deuling wasn’t the only player figuring out a new position on Friday. Crusaders’ Player of the Game, Frejean Pourier, was playing right side for his first time.
“This was his first time playing right side, I had him middle the whole year,” said Park. “He did a really good job …He’s tall and has a good jump, that’s why I moved him to right side.”
The Warriors, who won the Dawson Invitational Volleyball Tournament the previous weekend, had a heartbreaking end to last year’s season.
They won Whitehorse’s Super Volley league title and the Dawson tourney but were denied the triple crown when they were upset by the Vanier Crusaders in the final of the Yukon Volleyball Championships – the team’s only loss of the season.
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