The Sr. Women’s Volleyball Lakers went through some heart break over the weekend at the zone championships held at H.J. Cody High School in Sylvan Lake.
After cruising through league play, the girls were looking to capture a victory at provincials. Unfortunately, their hopes were dashed by Central Alberta rivals Innisfail – who won in the semi-finals which saw the third set end at a close 16-14.
Despite the loss, Coach Jason Chatwood was happy with the team’s efforts.
“We were the top two teams so we knew we were going to have to play them at some point,” he said. “It was a good game and we just came up on the wrong end of it. The girls played great and had a great year.”
The success of this year’s squad was remarkable considering the team only has two graduating Grade 12 veterans.
“We had a very young team – we only graduated two players,” Chatwood said. “They should be super happy with their year.”
The Lakers did manage to capture a bronze medal at the tournament, which is a significant feat considering the pain of the loss to Innisfail was fresh at game time.
“They were hard on themselves but we needed to find a way around it – especially for our Grade 12’s,” Chatwood said. “We wanted to find a way to get them a medal.”
Chatwood believes that this unfortunate setback can be a key learning experience for next year when H.J. Cody hosts the 3A Volleyball Provincials.
“It will take a bit to get over that loss but it is a learning experience for next year,” he said. “We are hosting provincials here in Sylvan Lake and it will be an awesome opportunity for our school and community. We will be using ours and Fox Run’s facilities to host Provincials.”
Chatwood is looking forward to the veteran squad he will return next season.
“It’s pretty rare to have such a young team and be so competitive throughout the province,” he said. “They need to realize how good of a team they are and how proud I am of them. They work hard and as a coach you couldn’t ask for much more than those girls.”
For now, the athletes have another season to look forward to.
“A lot of the girls are moving on because a lot of them play basketball,” Chatwood said adding he can’t wait for the next volleyball season.