The evening had a bittersweet outcome.
The Ponoka Secondary Campus Broncs senior girls volleyball squad not only played their final home game of the season versus Camrose on Oct. 18, but the night also marked the last time three players would hit the floor at PSC.
The Broncs lost the match 11-25, 22-25, 25-21, 19-25 with coach Ron Labrie noting the first set no-show was due to nerves.
“Our nerves got the best of us, but as the scores indicated, we definitely got better as the match progressed,” he said.
“We will match up against them better in the zone tournament.”
The teams three graduating players — Kimberly Turner along with co-captains Lauren Bussiere and Tess Pearman — were recognized in what turned out to be a fairly emotional pre-game ceremony.
Turner, who Labrie pointed out was at the game and ready to play in spite of having spent the previous night in the hospital, was lauded as a strong leader for last year’s junior varsity team and an extremely hard worker in practice and games on the court this season.
“I was very happy she tried out for our team this year. She has definitely paid her dues and we love her unwavering dedication to Broncs athletics,” he added.
“Lauren Bussiere comes from a family with a long history of support of school athletics and is also one of the leaders in our humanitarian club. She is a consummate professional and an honours student-athlete,” said Labrie.
As for Pearman, she has committed to playing at MacEwan University next season and, for Labrie, this was likely the most emotional portion of the night.
“I have known Tess since she was born. Her parents have played a pivotal role in my own growth as a coach and educator. Tess is a great athlete, a strong captain and leads by example on and off the court,” he stated during the ceremony.
For the Broncs junior varsity girls’ volleyball team, they weren’t able to get by a challenging Camrose club in four sets — losing 21-25, 14-25, 25-22, 23-25.
“We lost a tough fought battle,” stated head coach Tammy Emes.
“The girls are really coming together as a team and have improved immensely since the beginning of the season. This is the best the girls have played all year. We are peaking at the right time to push this last two weeks to make the final tournament.”