The F.H. Collins Warriors have a new championship banner for their school’s gymnasium. It’ll be one of a kind on the gym walls.
The Warriors won the senior boys Super Volley title in a straight-set victory over the Porter Creek Rams at Vanier Catholic Secondary on Friday.
It is the first Super Volley title the Warrior boys have won since the Whitehorse high school senior league was established in 2001.
“It was good to win with a bit of room, and we made F.H. (Collins) history, so that feels pretty good,” said Warriors power Kyle Wallace, who was named the Super Volley season MVP.
“I was pretty surprised and pretty happy about it,” he added of the MVP nod.
The Warriors took the title with a 25-18, 26-24, 25-8 win over the Rams. The win in the final marked the end of an immaculate Super Volley season for the team.
The Warriors went undefeated in Super Volley. They also won the Dawson Invitational Volleyball Tournament last month.
“The season has been good so far. The best part about it is the consistency,” said Warriors head coach Shaun McLoughlin. “Basically they’re treating it like a job and that’s good, that’s what we want.
“We’re not trying to get big highs, big lows, just consistency.
“Our plan from Dawson was not to lose another set this year and we’re going with that,” he added. “If it’s tight, they’re pulling it out, we’re able to finish.”
The only signs of trouble for the Warriors came in the second set as the Rams came back from down 18-10 to take a 22-21 lead on a kill from Kyle Lowes.
The Warriors fought back to take set-point on a kill from Wallace before teammate Benjamin Grundmanis put in an unreturned serve for the set.
“In the second set we just started playing better on our side of the net,” said Rams head coach Derick Bilodeau. “That’s the way we’ve been all season, we play inconsistently at times and that gives away games. When we play better on our side, we can play with F.H. Collins or Vanier.”
“They got on a roll, they were playing well. We got a little too complacent and allowed them to get on that roll,” said McLoughlin. “At the end of the set, the leaders on our team step up, get those kills, get those digs when we need it.”
The Warriors cruised through the third set. They expanded a 9-5 lead to 15-5 on the big jump serve of Jono Runions.
“Jono Runions played a very good, very consistent game,” said Wallace. “He definitely helped out the team a lot when we needed him.”
F.H. Collins took the match on a block from middle Tristan Sparks. Sparks was a wall in the third set, making five big blocks to keep momentum on his team’s side.
With the undefeated record, the Warriors had a bye into Friday’s final.
The Rams advanced to the final with a 25-14, 25-20, 25-19 win – their first win of the Super Volley season – over the Vanier Crusaders on Thursday.
“We were inconsistent, which has been our downfall through the entire year,” said Bilodeau. In the semifinal “we were a lot more consistent with our play, which showed with our win. Tonight we were inconsistent and when you’re playing against the best team, you’re just giving them a bunch of points and it makes it that much easier for them to win.”
With both the Super Volley and Dawson Invitational titles under their belt, the Warriors are currently the heavy favourite for the Yukon Volleyball Championships at the end of the month.
The season could become more historic for the school as the Warrior senior boys haven’t won a Yukon title since Porter Creek Secondary and Vanier Catholic Secondary came on the scene.
See Wednesday’s Yukon News for coverage of the senior girls Super Volley final.
Super Volley All-Stars
Zach Giciz (Crusaders)
Ethan Robinson (Crusaders)
Jack Woodwalker (Rams)
Tanner Borsa (Rams)
Max Clarke (Warriors)
Dominic Korn (Warriors)
MVP Kyle Wallace (Warriors)
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org