Joel Gustavson leaps to hit the ball during one of the volleyball games Christ King School played in during the CARA tournament at Wm. E. Hay on Saturday

Joel Gustavson leaps to hit the ball during one of the volleyball games Christ King School played in during the CARA tournament at Wm. E. Hay on Saturday

Volleyballers converge on Stettler for CARA

Wm. E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus played host to the annual CARA junior high volleyball tournament this past week, with finals on...

Wm. E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus played host to the annual CARA junior high volleyball tournament this past week, with finals on Saturday, Nov. 5

Teams from schools all through Clearview School District and East Central Alberta Catholic Schools took part.

Wm. E. Hay’s boys’ team placed third overall and qualified to head to Red Deer Nov. 17-18 for CWAJHAA, the next level of competition, while the girls’ teams were nudged out of the running.

The boys took to the courts to play Stettler’s Christ King Catholic School first, winning the match with two straight wins. They then faced Theresetta Catholic School from Castor, losing in two straight sets. They went on to face Coronation, winning again in two straight, and entering the playoffs third in their pool.

The team won in the quarterfinals to stay alive, but were defeated in the semi-finals. Winning the third-place game secured the bronze finish.

“Our goals were to challenge for the finals,” Josh Elliott, coach, said. “We didn’t quite get there but we played well enough for third. We improved drastically over the course of the season and I think all of the boys put in the work necessary to prepare themselves for high school volleyball in the future.”

Two teams from Wm. E. Hay played in the girls’ division.

The girls’ A team, coached by Shonna Burkard and Sandy Foster, played in the finals for bronze against Coronation, but lost for a fourth place finish.

“The girls had a tough go of things on Wednesday at the start of the round robin games,” Burkard said. “They struggled with the mental aspect of the game, but fought back on Saturday and played very well. The playoffs had some strong competition and the girls played up to the level needed to compete.”

Burkard said she was proud of the team, which showed massive improvement from the start of the season.

“Their skill development and basic game sense grew exponentially,” she said. “They performed above and beyond our expectations for the season. We are very proud of their accomplishments this year.”

The girls, B team, coached by Megan Weir, had their best tournament thus far in the season.

“The girls really came together as a team and played their hearts out,” Weir said.

The team played Coronation, Gus Wetter Public School from Castor, and Thereseta, winning a few sets out of those games.

“All of our games were fairly close but what was most exciting was seeing how much the girls improved from the start of the year,” Weir said. “Our team was made up of over half the players who had never played an organized game of volleyball so it was amazing to see them grow and develop as player.”

The goals for the team at the tournament, besides a good time, were to get all serves in and to stay positive no matter how the games were going.

“It was amazing to see the companionship and teamwork that went into this tournament,” Weir noted.

OVERSET FOLLOWS:Christ King Catholic School boys’ team played Wm. E. Hay, Theresetta and Donalda, winning against Theresetta but losing to the other two teams.