A rivalry was reignited on the volleyball courts at the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg on Aug. 11.
N.W.T. didn’t enter teams in the 2013 and 2009 Games but were back in the mix last week.
In both the male and female competitions it came down to the Yukon versus the N.W.T. in fights to avoid last place, with the winners taking 11th and the losers 12th.
Yukon’s male team took the win in an intense five-set marathon and Yukon’s female team lost in straight sets.
“We played way better than in other games,” said Yukon captain Austin Hayduck. “We brought it together in the end. We played more like a team than we did in the other games — that’s what helped us win that game.”
Yukon’s male team came back from a set down to win 22-25, 25-19, 19-25, 25-23, 15-8. The second set was the first won by Yukon’s male team in Winnipeg after going winless in their previous six matches. N.W.T. took one set from P.E.I. in their previous match.
“It was awesome,” said Yukon male team head coach D’Arcy Hill. “We showed great resiliency after losing the first (set), made a few adjustments on the coaching side, and started to execute. It was a great back and forth match and I thought we did well.
“We recognized that they were having trouble blocking the middle, so we started to use the middle option more on offence more frequently.”
Yukon’s female team lost 25-23, 26-24, 25-22 to N.W.T. They went winless in Winnipeg, but they did go the distance against P.E.I., losing in five sets on Aug. 8. The set wins against P.E.I. were the first for Yukon in female volleyball at the Canada Games since 2005, getting shut down in straight sets in every match in 2009 and 2013.
P.E.I. placed 10th in both the male and female divisions last week.
“It’s definitely a new experience for me because I haven’t been to a big event like this before, besides nationals,” said Hayduck. “It’s been an amazing experience.”
“What’s been nice … our players got to know players from all across the country, which has been great for them,” said Hill.
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