The Broncs senior girls volleyball team is heading to provincials.
The team was seeded second at the start of zones last weekend in Sylvan Lake with home team rivals HJ Cody Lakers determined to win. However, the Broncs felt differently, but getting the win was going to be tougher than anticipated.
Coach Ron Labrie said the pool the Broncs were placed in was especially tough with Wetaskiwin and Camrose looking to take Ponoka out of the running. First up was Wetaskiwin in the fourth spot in the league.
“Our first match was incredibly difficult against Wetaskiwin as it went to a third and deciding set,” said Labrie.
The Broncs were down 11-14 in the third set, but rather than give up the team rallied and earned their first win. Next up was Camrose and a slow start hurt their chances where they subsequently lost the first set.
Labrie said the second set proved a decisive win for Ponoka. The athletes capitalized on that momentum and secured their second win of the series defeating Camrose in the third set.
“The semifinal match would be against Innisfail, a young and talented team,” said Labrie of their next challenge.
The Broncs were strong in the first set with solid passing and serves to grab the set against Innisfail. However, Innisfail took advantage of a series of unforced Ponoka errors early in the second period. The lead proved too great and the Broncs lost the second set tying the match 1-1.
“Not unlike the previous two matches, the Broncs prevailed 15-11 in the third and deciding game,” said Labrie.
This left Ponoka to face the undefeated Lakers in a finals match that proved less challenging than expected. The Broncs won two sets with strong margins — 25-17 and 25-16 — and earned a spot at provincials. “The girls would not let off the gas pedal,” Labrie said.
The Broncs head to the 3A girls provincials championship from Nov. 25 to 28 in Bonnyville.