One thing that separates Yukon’s female volleyball team from the rest of the field at the Canada Summer Games this week is its fast and steady rate of improvement, says head coach Derick Bilodeau.
Provincial teams went into the Games more experienced and tested. The Yukon team is playing in their first tournament together and they are getting better with every match, he says.
“I think what I said before is holding true,” said Bilodeau. “Our team is continuing to improve. As we go along we’re getting into our groove and we’re playing more up to our potential and above our level of play from the beginning of the tournament.
“Going into this next match, our girls are really excited to play P.E.I. again. I think we played well against P.E.I. and then had a bit of a let-down in the second two (sets). They want to come out and play at the same level consistently, for the whole match, to see if we can push them to win a set or even the whole match.”
Wednesday would be a good time for the team to peak. Yukon will play P.E.I. a second time to end the Games. The winner will take tenth, the loser will place last.
Yukon’s female volleyball team, which is winless in the Games, lost to P.E.I. 25-19, 25-12, 25-6 on Sunday.
They have 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.
“We’re going to try and change our lineup a little bit, with some more stuff we’ve been changing around throughout the tournament so far,” said Bilodeau. “We’ll go with a little more size on the floor and a little more hitting power.
“We’ll try to attack them a little more than we were before. Before we were relying on our defence a little more. Now we’re going to try to attack them a little more with our middles and our off side.”
Both Yukon teams – male and female – are the only volleyball squads at the Games from Canada’s three territories.
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org