The girls of SLVC Wave 18U Blue emerged from the Provincials in Calgary as silver medalists, after a good run in the tournament and a nail-biter of a final game against the Lacombe Thunder in the tournament, which took place on April 22 and 23.
Coach Wayne Halliday stated that the girls beat Lacombe 25-16 in the first game, but had gold-winning victory wrested away from then, with a 17-25 loss in the next game they played against Lacombe in the finals. The second of the two games turned out to be one that had everyone on the edge of their seats.
“It was a very close match, and it could have went either way – they just happened to get the last few points on a run,” said Halliday.
In the final game against Lacombe, Sylvan Lake actually had the lead, all the way up to point 13, Halliday noted. The girls were feeling pretty comfortable with their lead, Halliday said, but “that’s the way games play out. Momentum changes on a dime, with rally points,” said Halliday.
Lacombe was able to break Sylvan Lake’s serve, and scored the points needed to put them in the lead and take the game.
“It was a very competitive and intense match, it was good. That’s kind of the way you want the finals to be,” said Halliday. “We were two and two – two wins and two losses – all season, with Lacombe, so we were very competitive with them.”
Sylvan Lake ended up playing a total of six games at the Provincials – three in the round robin matches and three in the playoffs. Other teams participating in the tournament included the Calgary Hitmen, the Spruce Grove Ravens, the Coronation Krakens and the Edmonton Nooks.
Another salient moment for Halliday and the team was the semifinal match against Brooks – he noted it was probably one of the best, most challenging games the team played all year.
“We won that one 25-18, and 25-21. I don’t think (Brooks) lost a game all weekend, until they met us,” said Halliday. “That was a really good match for us, to push us into the finals.”
Halliday said that it was, overall, a good weekend for the whole team. Taylor Ferguson and Shannon Numan were honoured as the tournament’s provincial all-stars, getting recognition for 49 kills and 28 kills, respectively. Halliday noted that they earned their recognition through consistency in their efforts at getting the ball into their opponents’ court, adding that “they were consistent all weekend, in serving and hitting.”
Halliday said a second place standing is a good ranking to have, going into the Nationals, adding “Having a silver medal going into Nationals will set us up; good things will happen.”