Donalda School is doubly represented in the CWAJHAA volleyball championships this weekend.
Donalda’s boys’ and girls’ teams have qualified for the Central Western Alberta Junior High Athletic Association tournaments in Stettler and Caroline, respectively.
“The boys’ team does not have any Grade 9 students this year,” said Don Seale, coach of both clubs “We’re in a bit of a building year. They play pretty good, for being a younger group.
“The girls’ starting lineup includes three Grade 9’s, two Grade 8’s and one Grade 7.”
Amy Smith is the assistant coach for both Donalda teams.
“She is invaluable,” said Seale. “Because you can’t do it all yourself, we split the duties when teams have to go in separate directions.”
Seale reported respectable seasons for the Eagles, especially for the girls’ team.
“The boys had done better than what we thought, for being a younger team,” he said. “They work hard.
“The girls had a great year. They placed second in a number of tournaments. The girls just couldn’t seem to get over the hump and get that first place.
“They’re a really good group of girls to work with, and they work hard.”
Both clubs warmed up for CWAJHAA with appearances in the CARA regional championships in recent weeks.
“The boys didn’t step up to play at their highest potential,” said Seale. “But we were missing a player that day, and it threw the boys off their game.
“We expect a better finish to the season, with having all our players.”
Donalda’s girls qualified the hard way, winning the CARA title against formidable competition.
“The girls knew that they had to defeat two very strong teams to make it — Coronation and Theresetta (Catholic) School (of Castor),” Seale said.
“We met the Coronation girls in the semifinals, and it was a tremendous match. One of the best matches I’ve been a part of. Going into the third match, we were tied in two sets.
“At the halftime switch, we were down 8-2. After the switch of ends, the girls never made a single mistake. I called a time-out when were down 13-8, and we went back and made it 14-13 for us. At that point, we had a game-point.
“Then Coronation had a game-point at 15-14, and then we won the next three points straight to take the win. It was quite an achievement against a school with more than 80 kids. It was quite an accomplishment for the girls.”