The Battleford Heat weren't the only ones to bring home hardware from the Sask. Volleyball provincials.
The Riverside Rebels 13-U girls won gold in Tier Two this past weekend and the Rebels 14-U girls won bronze in division two of Tier One.
The younger of the two teams went 2-2 in the round robin, which was is why they were dropped to the second tier. But then they won all the playoff games, including the finals against an older Regina team by a score of 22-25, 25-16, 15-10.
"They played awesome," 13-U Rebels co-coach Jayna Hannah said. "They had a lot of fun. We focused on fun in the last game because we knew we were going home with a medal. So we just worked had and came out with the win, which was awesome.
"We came back in that third game and worked hard. Our serves were awesome. We took advantage of our timeouts just so we could take a breath in between sets and kind of gain our composure and... they put everything into it. All the hard work in practice and exhibition games, they took everything they learned and put it into action on the court for sure."
Meanwhile the 14-U Rebels were in an age category that had 42 total teams competing.
They went undefeated in a three-game round robin and then won their way to the semifinals in division two of Tier One against the Nipawin Strikers.
Although they fell to Nipawin in straight sets, the Rebels rebounded for a straight-sets win in the bronze medal game over the Swift Current Junior Sundogs Black, by a score of 25-15, 25-15.
"We played very well all weekend and winning bronze was good for the girls; it was exciting for us," 14-U Rebels coach Vic Stynsky said. "Because we saw a lot of the teams that were stil in the playoffs, we kind of felt that [the semifinals against Nipawin] was the gold medal game and we needed to win that if we wanted to win the gold. Hats off to them. They had an excellent team and they beat us. Then in the bronze medal game, the girls didn't let up and played really hard.
"Our team record was 38-4: we only lost four matches all year... [and] the reason we were in division two is because we never went to one of the Sask. Cups so we never accumulated enough points to qualify for division one."
Both coaches said one of the things that makes the clubs successful is working together as a unit.
The 13-U team brought a nearly full roster of 11 players (one couldn't make it) and the 14-U team had 10.
"I saw them really come together as a team," Hannah said. "There was a lot of chatter on the bench and on the court and they were out there wanting to play. You could tell they were pretty pumped to be out there. Provincials is a pretty big deal...so it's sometimes a little overwhelming but they took it as a good experience was everyone was really happy."
"We have 10 strong players that can out on the court and play," Stynsky added about his team, also saying he knows how much his players love the game. "And part of it is their passion and their dedication for volleyball. They're still in the gym here playing after we finished the season. Yesterday at the school, they're in the gym playing at noon. I think it's just their love of the game."
Both coaches were clearly pleased with the team's performances, not only this weekend, but on the year as a whole, as provincials signals the end of the club volleyball season.
"It was another great season and like I said, we only lost four matches all year and that's in six tournaments that we went to," Stynsky said. "So we did very well all year long and in provincials we continued to play well."
"We have a really young team, so they're all first year volleyball players and [Amber Stewart and I are] first year coaches as well, so it's kind of all a new experience this year...and I love it," Hannah said. "I'm already looking forward to next year...and hopefully we'll get a third team in our club as well."
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