The senior boys and girls volleyball teams at St. Augustine School are heading to 2A provincials.
In a first ever, both teams were able to play their way in zones Nov. 17 to earn a provincials berth. The Queens played in Camrose winning gold to a tough group of teams.
Coach Darren Josephison said it was touch and go for a bit after losing two sets 26-24 to rival Rimbey in the first match of the round robin. However, the Queens soundly beat Sedgewick in the second match, something they needed to earn a spot in zone playoffs.
The Queens then played host team, Our Lady of Mount Pleasant Catholic School (OLMP), earning a solid match win.
It all came down to Pigeon Lake in the finals.
Josephison said with OLMP hosting provincials as well as zones, they were guaranteed a spot at provincials, which meant only the zones winner would be able to compete at provincials. The Queens needed a win.
They played well enough that they defeated Pigeon Lake in two sets, 25-21 and 25-21. “Our hitters stepped up and made a lot of hits,” said Josephison of the match.
What also helped the Queens in the finals was solid serving that caused trouble for Pigeon Lake. Josephison said the Queens seem to get stronger as tournaments continue, and that was how it all went down in zones. It was good to win.
“For so many years we were so close,” said Josephison.
For the Kings, a wild card opportunity meant the top three would be able to head to provincials.
The boys hosted zones Nov. 17 and played a strong group of teams. The pressure was on for the Kings as their hope was to be able to compete alongside the Queens at provincials.
Coach Justin Florean said their focus was on making it to the gold medal match but they lost to Penhold in the semi final round of zone playoffs. The match went to a third set where the Kings ended up losing a close 16-14 set.
“It was a hard loss, the team gave everything it had in that game,” said Florean.
The bronze medal match against David Thompson High School wasn’t an easy one, with the Kings going into a third set.
“I am very proud of the team for being able to recover from the semi-final loss and take the bronze,” said Florean.
Both teams head to provincials in Camrose Nov. 22 with games being set for Thursday through Saturday.