Dominating is pretty much the only word being used to descibe the season that the St. Augustine junior varsity girls volleyball team is having this year.
The Queens demonstrated that once again last week when they defeated David Thompson High School from Condor at home on Oct. 6 in straight sets – 25-18, 25-18 and 25-5.
The victory maintained the team’s record at a stellar unbeaten 3-0 on the season and coach Nicole York explained the team has come a long way this year.
“I coached this team last year and some of the players were only in Grade 9 at the time, but we pulled them up so that we could have a junior varsity team. The girls have come a long way and continue to improve and amaze me,” said York.
While the scores from the match suggest the Queens were the far superior team on the night, the girls struggled somewhat in the passing department in the first set and had to work on some adjustments due to injuries.
“The girls are really good passers, they just weren’t moving their feet or calling the ball at the start of the first set. They started out not great, but quickly gathered themselves together,” added York.
“We had some injured players too, so we actually had a power playing setter, so I think the girls needed to adjust.”
The club has only lost once all season – that was in the final at a tournament in Stettler last month. Despite that kind of dominance, York explained the girls still need to continue working on improving their coverage behind the blockers and their hitters. One added benefit this season has also been the experience a few of the girls have gotten by playing up with the senior girls squad due to the number of injuries that team has had this year.
The junior varsity team have three more league matches left before the playoffs on Nov. 6 and will get a big test this weekend when they play in the annual senior girls Turkey Burner tournament that gets underway Friday, Oct. 16, at St. Augustine.
Meanwhile, the senior girls squad split a pair of matches on Oct. 5 while up in Pigeon Lake.
The Queens fell to the hosts two sets to one – losing the opening set 25-18, coming back to win the second set 25-12 before losing the final set 15-10. The girls then rebounded to defeat Parkland Adventist Academy by scores of 25-12, 25-13 to earn their first match victory in league play.
The win keeps the club’s slim playoff hopes alive. However, according to coach Darren Josephison, the girls will need to win their remaining matches plus get some help from a few other clubs to bring back the top three teams.
A few critical, and close, early losses this season didn’t help get the team off to a good start and combined with some injuries, which has resulted in a few junior varsity players having to make the high pressure jump to the senior team this season, has resulted in a some inconsistent play at times.
“(Those girls) have had to play in critical moments of matches this year, but it will be valuable experience that will make them stars in Grade 11 and 12,” Josephison added.
Both the senior and junior varsity Queens will be hosting the 7th annual Turkey Burner tournament starting Friday, Oct. 16, when the senior Queens take on Christ the King from Leduc at 2 p.m. and the action will continue until the final on Saturday, Oct. 17, evening.