The Yukon women’s volleyball team went into their final match wanting to give a steady effort with consistent play. Done and done.
The Yukon squad kept Team Prince Edward Island from any large runs, but was unable to pull off a win, dropping the match 25-14, 25-21, 25-14 at the Canada Summer Games on Wednesday.
The match concluded Yukon’s competition at the Games, going winless and finishing last.
“This last match here was definitely the best match we’ve had as a team as far as consistency goes,” said Yukon head coach Derick Bilodeau. “We had a lot better attacking and blocking. Some of our role players stepped up.
“Our team has consistently gotten better as the Games went on,” he added. “So it’s great to see that they played well in their last match.”
As the score indicates, the second set was their strongest. Down 9-5, Yukon went on a five-point run on the serve of middle Courtney Greenway to tie the game. Down 11-10, Yukon tied the game again on a kill from left-side Kiana Palamar.
Yukon then took the lead on a cannonball serve from middle Julianna Campbell. After an illegal hit from P.E.I., Yukon maintained the lead on a big block from Cayley Sparks.
“We had Cayley Sparks come in, she’s the youngest player on out team – she’s only 14 – and she was playing middle … She played awesome,” said Bilodeau. “She had some great blocks and great hits at key times.”
Yukon played a less balanced match against P.E.I. on Sunday, putting up a good fight in the first two sets before losing steam in the third. The final score was 25-19, 25-12, 25-6.
“This last one against P.E.I. was probably one of our best games, just because we kept the momentum up the whole time and we kept close with them,” said Yukon right-side Heather Clarke. “The second set was really fun.”
Yukon also had straight-set losses to Ontario, Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan since Saturday.
In their first crossover match, Yukon lost 25-13, 25-10, 25-13 to Team Newfoundland on Tuesday.
“It was a really good experience,” said Yukon captain Robyn Fortune. “Being from the Yukon we get all these opportunities to go to these things like the Canada Summer Games without having to play college ball, like everybody else. It’s a great thing about living in the Yukon and I like to make use of that.”
Fortune has competed at other major Games, including in basketball at the Arctic Winter Games.
Palamar led the team in kills over the Games with 15. Campbell produced a team-high of six kills in against P.E.I. on Wednesday
Two of the team’s players – Sparks and middle Kat Robinson – are young enough to be eligible to compete at the 2017 Canada Summer Games.
“I loved every part of it,” said Clarke, who is also a national level speed skater. “The Games are so much fun all the time. It’s just a great experience to be playing against such high-level teams. I haven’t even played that much volleyball here and it’s been fun the whole time.
“We didn’t come here expecting to win, so we can’t be upset when we don’t win.”
Both Yukon teams – male and female – are the only volleyball squads at the Games from Canada’s three territories.
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