Saints fall short in semis at Tazmania tourney
The St. Paul Regional High School Saints hosted the Tazmania Volleyball Tournament this past weekend, with both the boys and girls teams reaching the semi finals and falling to Edwin Parr Composite.
“It’s really exciting to have 32 teams come to our facilities. We have great facilities to host this many teams and it was really a school effort to put everything on. There were a lot of key people that worked really hard to make this happen,” said boys’ volleyball coach Jill Ranger.
Both the Saints teams had strong outings in the tournament’s round robin stage, with the boys and girls winning all three of their matches against Fort McMurray Comp., Glendon and Assumption.
The boys’ team defeated Oyen in the quarterfinals in a nail-biting tiebreaker. After winning the opening game of the quarters in convincing style, Oyen forced a tiebreaker with a 25-23 victory in the second game. St. Paul came out ready for the final frame and ousted Oyen 15-7 before hitting a wall against Edwin Parr.
Jeff Hatch, a player on the boys’ team, said that he was impressed by their performance, and despite the loss to Edwin Parr, he feels they have the talent to be champions.
“I feel that we did very well. We have a couple of younger players on our starting line and we went out swinging. We played our hearts out and we could have won it, we have the talent; it just wasn’t our time,” Hatch said. “(Edwin Parr) had strong hitters and they were very smart with their hits and how they played.”
Ranger noted that the team will use this tournament as a building block in finding future success.
“I think this weekend was a character building experience,” Ranger said. “We had a lot of momentum changes and I think in many ways (Edwin Parr) had consistent hitters and consistent attacks. There were times when we were reacting rather than anticipating the ball.”
The girls’ team took down Westwood in the quarterfinals, but met the same fate as the boys in their semi-final match up against Edwin Parr.
“They outgunned us and we just couldn’t respond,” said girls’ volleyball coach Hank Smid. “I thought our girls fought hard, they tried hard, they didn’t give up, but they just didn’t have enough horses ready to roll and that made it tough. I’m really happy that they gave the effort but I still know we have some homework to take care of for next tournament.”
Mikayla Mailloux of the girls’ team said that she was proud of the effort her team put forth, but hopes to see a better outcome in the future.
“We definitely put up a fight, but I think we just needed the little bit extra that they had. We can always work towards it for next time, though,” Mailloux said.
Smid noted that the girls’ team will need to work on three specific aspects of their game in order to find success at future tournaments, on communication on the floor, defensive play and being aggressive at the net.
Edwin Parr went on to win the tournament in both divisions, with their boys’ team defeating St. Jerome’s and the girls’ team taking down Old Scona in the finals.
The next event for St. Paul Regional High School Volleyball will be the Glen Avon Volleyball tournament Oct. 12 to 13, where the high school players will volunteer as referees for the junior teams.
“The (high school players) go through level one certification at a referee clinic,” Ranger said. “It helps them to understand the game better and it also helps them to appreciate how difficult it can be to be a ref.”
The boys and girls volleyball teams will head to Louis St. Laurent in Edmonton at the end of the month for their next tournament, something Hatch says he eagerly awaits.
“I am so excited for Louis St. Laurent. I feel that we can use this downtime in between to improve and get ready for a very intense and fun tournament,” Hatch said.
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