Donalda, Erskine finish in top five

After more than three decades, the girls’ volleyball team from Bluffton was able to claim the CWAJHAA 2J championship

Erskine’s Kelsey Heinz makes an difficult leap to meet the ball while Gracie Morbeck races to be in place to send it over the net when it comes down during a match against the Delburne Trojans.

After more than three decades, the girls’ volleyball team from Bluffton was able to claim the CWAJHAA 2J championship, beating out the team that has won the most times of any schools to compete – Donalda.

Donalda finished in third place after a flawless round-robin, while Erskine School, who competed in the CWAJHAAs for the first time in almost 20 years, finished fifth.

The tournament took place in the gymnasium at William E. Hay Composite High School with Erskine as host.

According to tournament organizer Sheri Morbeck, the tournament went “really well,” despite some “glitches” like one team dropping out at the last minute and a new team shuffling in.

In round-robin play, Donalda first beat the girls from Delburne in three sets, before heading on to battle against Spruceview. The girls went on to play their home county rivals and host, Erskine, beating them in two tight sets, both coming in with final tallies of 27-25.

In the first set of matches in the finals, Donalda lost to Clive in their third set, setting themselves up to play against Spruceview for the bronze, which they won.

“It was very close,” Morbeck, who is also coach to the Erskine team, said of the finals.

The host team beat Delburne in very close sets, but went on to lose to Spruceview and then Donalda, putting them out of the finals.

“Bluffton was on fire,” Morbeck said. “I don’t think they were ever forced to the third set.”

In the 31 years the CWAJHAAs have been handing out plaques, it was also the first time for Bluffton to have their name added, something that Morbeck said was very special to witness, even though it wasn’t one of the home teams claiming the victory.

“You’re really happy for them,” she said.


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