Ponoka volleyball club places ninth in province
When the U14 Rage volleyball team started its season the team was in the second division of five; by the time the season ended Rage was competing in Division 1.
Rage finished the season recently placing ninth out of 80 teams in its age group, a feat made possible by a dedicated team of 10 players, explained coach Tammy Emes. She had 24 athletes tryout for the team.
The girls travelled to provincials recently and had a tough go on the first day, losing all four of the games in their round robin. Nerves were the main factor in those losses, said Emes, although the entire weekend was full of close games.
She took some time that first evening to reiterate that the team is able to compete with the best of them.
“We just have to continue to play our game,” Emes told the players. “We belong here.”
She was right.
Despite being shorter, “We’re kind of runts in the pack,” and having a smaller pool of players, Rage played well enough the next day to win the rest of their games.
When Emes compares Rage to other teams, she points out that their tryouts had a much larger number of players. Canada West in Calgary had 900 girls tryout, and the U14 Pandas had even more.
Rage made its way through the different season tournaments to work its way up from Division 2 to Division 1 and it was dedication from parents and players that made it happen.
“Our key to success is because of the kids and the parents. They bought into the philosophy,” said Emes.
That philosophy? “Your only as good as your weakest link, so bring everybody along.”
U14 Rage team lived up to that expectation and rather than focus on one player, the athletes worked on lifting the team up.