Donalda hosts girls in volleyball tourney

Seven teams competed in a junior girls volleyball tournament in Erskine this weekend, giving players plenty of time

Seven teams competed in a junior girls volleyball tournament in Erskine this weekend, giving players plenty of time to get familiar with the court.

The Set-4-Life Girls Volleyball Tournament is an annual event hosted by Donalda School in Erskine, said coach and organizer Don Seale.

Seale said he received positive feedback from the coaches whose teams attended the event, held on Saturday, Sept. 27.

“All of the coaches indicated that the teams got lots of play, that they enjoyed themselves, that it was a rewarding experience,” he said.

The round-robin tournament allowed each team to play six sets of two matches each, with a top possible score of 12 points.

Of the seven teams, Donalda came closest to perfection, earning 10 points, followed by Clive with nine points and Erskine with eight points. Also competing were teams from Byemoor, Forestburg, Coronation and Stettler Middle School.

Teams are charged a registration fee of $100 in order to cover the referees, trophy and other expenses. Erskine School operated a concession stand throughout the day.

Seale said the tournament originated 17 years ago, when he was coaching a boysteam. Initially called the Hit ‘n’ Run Tournament and later the Dig This Tournament, it has run under its current format for the last four years.

He said he enjoyed the day, particularly the chance to see some of his former players, now serving as referees.

Donalda’s junior girls team is about halfway into its season, with division finals coming up at the beginning of November.

Seale said he is pleased with their performance so far but added the team still needs work in some areas.

On Sept. 17, the team won an evening round-robin tournament in Forestburg, playing against the hosts, Daysland, Sedgewick and Killam.

The following weekend, from Sept. 19 to 20, they competed in the Red Deer College Fall Classic, where Seale said the team held its own against players from several larger schools. Donalda reached the B-side finals, where they were defeated by Three Hills.

Of the matches the team has played this season, they have won 42 and lost only 11, and Seale said he feels blessed to be coaching the players.

“It’s a real honour to work with these kids,” he said. “They’re tremendous young people.”