The HJ Cody Lakers junior girls’ volleyball team recently wrapped up its impressive season, which saw them end league play in third place, qualifying them for playoffs.
The first set of playoff games had them facing Ponoka, in which they had a very commanding win of 2-0. That brought them to face the first-place Wetaskiwin team, who hadn’t lost a single game all season (8-0).
In the first set, the Lakers lost by two points, but then won the second set, bringing them to the always-tense third set, in which they held their own, only losing by two points. By beating Ponoka earlier in the evening, the Lakers qualified to go to finals the following week and try for one of the top two spots in order for a chance to play in provincials.
Nov. 13 was the final for the playoffs. Four teams played in two different schools — the top two teams played at one school and the third- and fourth-placed teams were at another, playing to see who went to the bronze medal game and who went to the gold medal game.
The Lakers were up against Lacombe going three sets with them, but in the end lost by three points in the third set. This had them staying in the school they just played in to sit anxiously and await the arrival of the losing team from the other school to see who they would play in the bronze medal match.
Much to the surprise of the players, coach and parents, the Wetaskiwin team walked into the gym. Coach Sarah Steinbach could be overheard saying to her team, “This is our redemption match, ladies!”
The Wetaskiwin team did take the first set with another really close score. The Lakers then re-grouped under the leadership of their coach and won the second match, again going to a nail-biting third set. The Lakers came out on top, fully controlling the third set and leading to a huge celebration on the court and from the parents in the stands.
“Our JV ladies had a very successful season built on the girls’ willingness to push themselves and continually improve each one of their skills,” said Steinbach. “We were a team of 13 ladies which made the competition to see the court that much more demanding. Each one of these girls contributions lead to the success they experienced in playoffs. The final game of the season (the bronze medal game) felt more like the gold medal game, and the girls should be very proud of all the success they experienced this season.”
Players and parents would like to send a huge thank you to Sarah Steinbach for her time, efforts and commitment to them all season.