Overall, chalk up a trip to the provincial championship as an experience not to be forgotten.
That’s how Ponoka Secondary’s Broncs senior girls volleyball coach Ron Labrie basically described his team’s appearance at the 3A Girls Volleyball Provincials in Bonnyville on the weekend.
“Our provincial experience was outstanding. Bonnyville Centralized High School were outstanding hosts,” he stated.
The Broncs had a great round robin, finishing with four victories and one loss in their pool.
They opened the 12-team, two pool tournament with a loss to the number three seed St. Joes Catholic from Grande Prairie 25-11, 25-23 on Thursday afternoon (Nov. 26).
However, the girls stormed back with a dominant 25-14, 25-11 performance Friday morning (Nov. 27) over the 11th seeded host Bonnyville squad. The Broncs had a much tougher match that afternoon against the 10th seeded team from Taber, but eventually would get the edge winning 25-20, 16-25, 16-14. The Broncs would cap off with the day with a 25-16, 25-22 win over 6th seeded St. Martin de Porres from Calgary.
Ponoka finished off their round robin on Saturday morning (Nov. 28) defeating a very tough 7th seed from Morinville 25-15, 27-25.
That left them in second in their pool and moved them into the quarterfinals against Springbank, but fell in straight sets.
Labrie added the girls battled hard throughout the tournament We had only dropped one match to the eventual Silver medalist St. Joes from Grande Prairie.
“Springbank is a strong team with two setters who ran a 6-2 offense with enormous height on the wings. They had excellent ball placement and great outside hitters, but we thought that our quick offense and strength in the middle would be a good match up,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the girls gave away too many points on our serve in addition to some below average passing early.”
Springbank would eventually wind up with the bronze, losing in the semifinal to St. Albert Catholic who went on to capture the provincial title over St. Joes Catholic.