The second AVA for the 403 Selects started out two girls short due to basketball zones, although they had a full roster on Sunday. Competition was fierce as Division 1 teams from all over Alberta gathered at Genesis Center in Calgary and the play was fantastic to watch.

Day One

Game one of round robin saw some close play, but 403 won against the Rhinos from Bonnyville in two sets.

Game two was against the Cougars 18U team. The Selects started out with strong serving, but the Cougars tied the game up at 6. Some crafty sets and well-placed hits brought 403 ahead 11-9. A
few errors narrowed the gap, but the girls continued to fight and kept the score close. Strong blocks and some perseverance allowed them to regain a small lead, but it continued to be point for point. A well placed hit and some strong serving brought Purple up to a 21-18 lead, when an effective timeout was called by the Cougars, who then regained the lead and won the game 25-27. The second set started with the Selects ahead, but some unlucky plays saw them down 3-7. They regained some ground to tie the game at 11 and 12, but unforced errors swung the game in the Cougars’ favour. Good serves and strong hits got the girls back in the game, and a great set and trick roll along the net found the score tied at 22. With great digs and fabulous rallies, the Selects had an exciting game and ended up winning 25- 23. Momentum carried the girls into the third set, where they dominated the game; a well-placed block won the girls the final point at 15-8.

Game three versus the Nait Nooks from Edmonton showed some great serves, excellent team play and thoughtful placement which brought the girls a decisive victory at 25-18. The second set saw the Nooks pushing back hard. After tying the game 8-8, the girls found themselves down 8-14. Although there were some good placement of shots and acrobatic play, the girls lost 22-25. Set three found the Selects up 11-3 when a Nooks time-out was called, and an ace serve finished the game for 403 at 15-7. The crossover game versus NAVC was powerful and determined on both sides. A one point differential was maintained throughout most of the game that went back and forth with some fantastic rallies. 403 took the first win 27-25. The second set was the only game in the gym, so it was a quiet environment. While NAVC seemed to pick up everything, 403 kept in the game. A great kill gave the girls a boost and they clawed back to 19-17 with some hot serving. NAVC took them to a third set however with a 25-19 loss. Set three saw points answered one for one and 403 were up 8-5 at the switch. With the girls working as a solid unit, they battled to stay ahead and won the game 15-13.

Day Two

Sunday’s playoffs saw 403 up against the top teams in the province, and nerves seemed to get the best of the girls in their first Sunday game against the Dinos 18U. 403 came from behind to tie the game 5-5, and even took the lead for a while until falling behind 9-14. An amazing dig and hit took the girls to 10, but powerful Dino serves gave them the lead. The Selects rallied back briefly, but the set ended with a loss at 15-25. Set two started out close. While there were some missed serves on both sides, the Dinos pulled ahead. The Selects started a comeback, causing the Dinos coach to call a time out at 17-21, but the girls ended up losing 21-25.

Game two was against Velocity from Grande Prairie. The Selects stared out strong, and with lots of energy, but couldn’t match Velocity’s offensive game and fell behind 4-7. Strong serving brought Purple back to a 9-8 lead. The girls played point for point until Velocity tied it up at 16-16. 403 regained control with a great hit by Velocity being just out at 20-16. A time out and subs for Velocity couldn’t regain them the lead, and 403 won 25-19. The second set saw another point for point game, but after a great rally went the wrong for the Selects, they lost momentum. The game ended up as a 20-25 loss. The girls fought back from a deficit to a 7-6 lead in game three, but even after an effective time-out, couldn’t maintain the lead and lost 12-15.

Game Three against the 17U Pandas saw the girls with a strong start, and well-balanced play. Good hustle helped recover from the Pandas’ deep corner hits. A smart time out at 11-17 ralllied 403 back, but the Pandas subbed their server at 15-18, who gave them a serving run from which 403 couldn’t recover. An amazing Panda hit finished the game at 20-25. Set two started out with incredible serving on both sides, and although 403 had an amazing dig on the Pandas’ strongest hitter, they lost the game 18-25.

While Saturday saw victory, and Sunday saw defeat, the girls ended up a very respectable 8 th position in their first Alberta-wide AVA, to remain in Division 1. It was incredibly athletic and exciting weekend of volleyball!