Schools in Annaheim and Watson served as gracious hosts to ten communities from across the province in SHSAA 1A girls volleyball action for the provincial championships.
Fans on Friday night were treated to a pair of local team evening openers that showed the calibre of the teams. LeRoy went up against a well-coached squad from Ogema in a tight back and forth triple set. Ogema demonstrated power on the front line, but LeRoy countered with solid defense both from the back row and at the net. LeRoy showed a more commanding presence in their second set. In spite of a late-stage surge by Ogema, LeRoy rallied to take their opener in two straight sets.
Home team Annaheim Rebels went toe to toe with Maymont in the following match. Annaheim showed a strong hitting presence to show Maymont what they were capable of. Maymont responded with some solid serving, with several aces coming into play. However, in the back row, strong and responsive digging from the Rebels effectively countered the Maymont attack and led to a pair of back-to-back wins to take the match.
“It goes without saying that the energy in the gym has been incredible all day in both facilities,” said Ryan Trumbley with the SHSAA. “It brings 10 towns together and especially in these smaller schools, they bring the whole town. It’s standing room in both gyms right now – it’s people spending money. It’s just fantastic.”
Earlier in the afternoon, during the opening ceremonies, local alumna Molly Yungmann talked about her 6 provincial titles and brought the message that small town athletes can certainly go on to do great things.
“The athletes here are just incredible,” Trumbley added. “The skill level is high – they can compete with anybody, and I think it just goes to show how important it is to have sports in small towns.”
Other area schools in the mix were Bellevue and Rose Valley. Coming down to the quarterfinals, Rose Valley eliminated Maymont, Annaheim dispatched Bengough, and LeRoy defeated Bellevue to advance to the semis. Rose Valley sent Annaheim to the Bronze Bracket, and Lampman did the same turn to LeRoy. There the two neighbouring schools squared off in a tight match up going to a third set to decide Annaheim at the Bronze Medal winner.
In the final between Rose Valley, perennial provincial champs, and Lampman it came down to a third and deciding set. Lampman took the first 25-20, Rose Valley roared back with a decisive 14-25 decision, and the final set fell to Lampman, 15-12, giving them the provincial title.
Congratulations to all the competitors and the organizers and volunteers. More provincial volleyball action in the area is coming up again this weekend with Annaheim and Lake Lenore hosting the 1A boys provincial matches.
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