Sporting green and yellow ribbons in support of their fellow athletes, the Humboldt Broncos, the 15U 403 Select girls played their third VA Premier tournament at Fox Run School in Sylvan Lake.  Even though they were missing a setter due to injury, they managed to improve on their previous second place standing to capture gold.

The team trained at Red Deer College the night before and met up with one of our club’s Alumni – Nicole Davis (403) who is playing as a middle blocker for the Red Deer College Queens team. “It was great to get a few inspirational words from her prior to the competition,” said head coach Carsten Stanjeck.

Day One

The tournament opened with the girls facing SPVC. Both teams played with energy. After keeping it close for most of the game, 403 pulled away with some big hits to win the first set 25-18.  Set two started out with 403 behind. They utilized their middle attack and quickly caught up. Some strong serves helped them win the second set with another score of 25-18.

Match number two was against the Pandas, who started out strong. 403 responded strongly. Well placed hits, a huge block and good serving run had them dominate and take a clear 19-7 lead. They continued to show incredibly athletic play to win 25-9.  Set two started out closer with the Pandas taking the lead. 403 tied it at 7, and then kept the score within one or two until the Pandas pulled ahead and won 22-25.  Set three was close, but a missed serve for the Pandas took the score to 8-5 for 403 at the switch. An ace won the game for Selects 15-7.

The third match of pool play saw the girls face Edmonton’s NAVC, who played confidently after beating 403 in the Premiere 2 gold medal match. Their incredible defense saw 403 take a timeout at 6-13 and subs at 8-15.  A massive hit for 403 started to turn things around, but NAVC remained strong and won 16-25. Set two saw teams going point for point until 403 fell behind by five. A serving run tied it up 14-14.  Purple played with tenacity and grit, but lost the set 22-25 to end up third in their pool.

The crossover game immediately followed. 403 still seemed to be collecting themselves after their loss, and let Ace (Red) get up six at 9-15. After a purple timeout, the girls fought for every point to take the lead 17-16.  The lead then went to Ace at 21-22, only to have a Purple ace serve win the set 25-23. A 403 ace serve won set two as well, with the girls playing strong and winning 25-15.

Day 2

The Selects’ first game on the second day was against Central Alberta’s Rage.

Even though they gave up the first two points, Rage could not return Purple’s strong serves to make the score 7-2.  The Selects continued to dominate the offensive and won the first set 25-8 and the second 25-12.  The semifinals saw the Selects facing the NAVC Griffins again. Purple started out serving strong again and played with amazing force and determination, causing NAVC to call timeouts at 12-4 and again at 17-6. Purple won this all-important set 25-14. The second set started as a closer game, tying at both 5 and 7 until the Selects again utilized well-placed hits and tips to win 21-25.

Finals saw the girls facing the U of A Pandas once again.   The first set started tight at 6-6. Some excellent cross-court play continued in what was to be a close game tying up again at 13 and 16. The Pandas pulled ahead at 17-18, and 403 called a time out. Time out Pandas when Purple pulled ahead by two at 20-18, then again at 22-18. Two ace serves won the game for the Selects 25-19. Set two was close as well with each time fighting for every point. 403 finally pulled ahead and the Pandas called a timeout at 15-11 and again at 21-17. 403 won with yet another ace 25-20.

The girls have been training hard, and it showed.  They showed tenacity and grit, and provided fans with some amazing volleyball to watch.  Thanks to coaches and parents for supporting them!

“Our first gold medal this year and very exciting for players coaches and parents alike. Thank you to all our opponents throughout the weekend, the parents for their support and Volleyball Alberta for putting on a great event,” said head coach Carsten Stanjeck
We are excited and ready to work hard for Provincials!”