Nerves, overly cautious play and some mental errors put the Ponoka Secondary senior girls volleyball squad on their heels somewhat recently.
The Broncs were in Edmonton for a tournament on Friday and Saturday (Oct. 23 and 24) where they fell back to being simply an average club, according to head coach Ron Labrie, which was a significant difference to their showing in hosting Wetaskiwin at home Tuesday, Oct. 20.
“The girls played very average in Scona (High in Edmonton) and could not overcome some mental errors and the execution of quality serve reception,” Labrie said.
However against Wetaskiwin, while the girls didn’t start well losing the first set, they stormed back to win the next three sets to take the match and remain unbeaten in league play.
“(Tuesday) was only our second home game of the season and, ultimately, we played a bit cautious to overcome the nerves. Generally, I think we play better on the road – less distractions,” Labrie added.
The team is filled with veteran leadership – with six Grade 12s and four Grade 11s on the roster with just two Grade 10s – plus the majority of the players have other volleyball experience to bring to the court.
“We have a strong core of girls that have played in club competition as well as at the high school level,” he said.
“At the core, the girls love to play and are dedicated to constant improvement.”
With both league play and tournament season beginning to wind down as the provincial playoffs loom next month, Labrie is working on getting his team ready and working to improve some areas of their game before the 3A girls zone tournament gets underway Saturday, Nov. 21.
“We will be a strong contender if we can minimize our mental mistakes. We have some strong assets both defensively and offensively, but need to have confidence in the execution of our game plan,” Labrie explained.
“There will likely be three other teams that will challenge for the zone title. Sylvan Lake is undefeated as well and they have experience and strong offensive power, Innisfail has a young team that is constantly improving and Wetaskiwin has scrappy defense that can win matches.”
The Broncs continued their quest to stay unbeaten when they travelled to Rocky Mountain House yesterday (Tuesday, Oct. 27). The result was unavailable at press time.