Senior girls’ volleyball team take third at home tourney, JV team steps in to keep boys’ tourney alive

The Stettler Wildcats hosted a boys' and girls' senior volleyball tournament this past weekend at the Stettler school complex.

Sophie Shepherd leaps and blocks the ball

The Stettler Wildcats hosted a boys’ and girls’ senior volleyball tournament this past weekend at the Stettler school complex, with the girls taking third place.

The tournament, which ran Friday, Oct. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 31, was planned last May, boys junior varsity coach Joe Thibeau said.

“We planned it when we thought we’d have a senior (boys’ volleyball) team,” he said. This year, though, there’s no senior boys’ team, just the junior varsity team. Rather than cancel the boys’ tournament, though, the junior varsity boys stepped in to play as a senior boys’ team.

The girls’ teams played in the high school gym, while the boys’ teams played down the hall in the elementary and middle-school gyms.

The girls played well, coach Derrik Hatch said.

“(They) played a strong overall game, hosting their home tournament,” he said. “(They finished) the round robin second in their pool and went on to place third overall in the tournament.”

The third-place finish was hard fought against the Our Lady of Mount Pleasant Royals from Camrose, who had defeated the girls in the round robin, Hatch said.

The boys, however, didn’t fare as well, finishing the tournament in the consolation round, where they lost. Despite the low finish, Thibeau said he was proud of the team.

“We know exactly how we’re going to do” in upcoming finals, Thibeau said. “We’ve seen consistent improvement all season.”

The team was at a disadvantage coming in as they were crossing into a league in which they normally didn’t play, and thus hadn’t had a chance to play any of the teams they now faced.

“We had fun and we kept our spirits up,” Thibeau said.

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