SMS battles hard at home CWAJHAAs

Coach Charisse McDonald knows that in sports, some things are more important than winning – like having fun, improving game skills

Spike! SMS’s Rebecca Bridge leaps to spike the ball back at the Sylvan Lake Crusaders after the perfect setup from Lyrah Thomson

Spike! SMS’s Rebecca Bridge leaps to spike the ball back at the Sylvan Lake Crusaders after the perfect setup from Lyrah Thomson

Coach Charisse McDonald knows that in sports, some things are more important than winning – like having fun, improving game skills throughout the season and building player confidence.

While the girls’ volleyball team from Stettler Middle School didn’t win any of their games at the 2J CWAJHAAs this past Saturday, Nov. 15, McDonald said she was exceptionally proud of her team for “being in it” the entire time.

“We didn’t lose any game by more than five points,” she said. “We were in every game.”

There were no routs or easy victories for the other teams at the Stettler-hosted season finishing tournament.

“Every game we played was close,” including that against eventual tournament victor David Thompson. Stettler lost to them in two sets, a close 25-20 and a heart-breaking nail-biter of 25-23.

“Most schools have a lot of Grade 9 students,” McDonald said, noting that SMS doesn’t have as many as most other schools. “This limits the pool we have to draw from.”

Despite that, McDonald said the Grade 9s on the team worked hard all season, with all players improving by leaps and bounds.

“We improved over the season and were very competitive,” McDonald said. “When we win, it’s a bonus.”

The gold battle came down to David Thompson and Ponoka, with both teams battling hard before David Thompson won through two sets, 25-20 and 25-15.