The Ponoka Warriors volleyball club is having a great season.
The U15s and U16s held a special tournament April 28 at St. Augustine School and the U16s earned a gold medal win, explained coach Darren Josephison.
It was one of the annual tournaments for the team, with nine other teams competing. “We won the A side of the championship.”
That gold medal win almost ended up as a silver medal as the team was down 11-5 in the third set of the final match. “You shouldn’t make that kind of a come back, and we won 16-14,” said Josephison.
The Warriors played Fog Fury from Edmonton in a tough match. The Warriors won the first set and lost the second, said Josephison, and in the third set Fury had a strong start.
“We had used our two timeouts and at the second timeout it looked like we were done,” he explained.
A strength of the U16s this season has been the team’s ability to come back from a deficit.
“We had a couple kids struggling and those kids picked it up…they just didn’t quit,” said Josephison.
A couple lucky breaks and hard work helped the Warriors change the momentum of the set. Add to that the Fury coach didn’t call a timeout (he had two left) until the Warriors were up 12-11, something Josephison feels may have hurt the Edmonton team overall.
The Warriors played six matches in one of the hottest spring days Alberta has seen in many years and the team was tired, said Josephison.
The season has been a good one for the U16 Warriors. They are ranked second in Division 2, a whole division up from last year. A strong group of veterans, plus a tall team has helped the Warriors this season.
“We have five or six girls who are in that 5’10” range,” he said.
His hope is the team will medal at provincials this weekend in Edmonton but Josephison knows it’s going to be a tough challenge.
Nationals comes after that in Edmonton and will feature teams of all ages. “There will be 180 girls just in U16 from teams all over the country.”