Alysha Balatbat, Grade 11 setter and captain for the Queens helped lead the team to a 3-0 win against Ermineskin Sept. 24 at home. The big Turkey Burner tournament is coming up for both the Kings and Queens after Thanksgiving with a total of 20 teams competing. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

Ponoka’s Kings and Queens volleyball teams win against Ermineskin

The senior volleyball squads proved too much for Ermineskin

Right from the outset it was clear the senior volleyball squads at St. Augustine School were in it to win it against Ermineskin.

Playing at home Sept. 24, the Queens started the night with solid 3-0 wins in their sets.

When playing a team with less experience, coach Darren Josephison said the Queens always have a focus of respect. “Out of respect they wouldn’t fool around. They wouldn’t laugh.”

“The other team doesn’t want to see us letting off.”

However, the match gave Josephison a chance to bring in other younger players while also challenging the team to try out new tactics and techniques. He tries to set goals for the team to keep them focussed.

There are big games coming up for the Queens who still have three other teams that will challenge them this season. Josephison said the focus is to challenge the athletes mentally and also fine-tune positions, hits and game play.

What’s exciting for him is that the Kings and Queens may have a chance to compete at provincials together. However, there is still work to do. “November is a long ways away,” said Josephison.

Kings looking at continued growth

The Kings also walked away with 3-0 in sets.

Despite a somewhat slow start for the team, the Kings managed to calm their nerves and play strong sets throughout the match.

“That’s a lot of our challenge,” said Florean. “Starting the game at full speed.”

Against Ermineskin, once the Kings got through their early-game jitters, their passing and hits improved dramatically. The Kings went into the match focussed on a strong performance.

“My guys love hits, and they’re competing with each other to get better hits,” said Florean.

He added that the athletes rise to the challenges they have faced so far in the season. “Because they have the skill. It’s just consistency (that is needed).”

The big St. Augustine Turkey Burner tournament after Thanksgiving is coming up with 20 teams in total competing — 12 girls’ teams and eight boys’ teams. It’s expected to be an exciting weekend with both courts at St. Augustine and Ponoka Secondary Campus being used.

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This Kings player reacts quickly to a hit from the Ermineskin team Sept. 24. The Kings started off a bit rocky but made up for the slow start with a 3-0 win in sets. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

As the match progressed against Ermineskin, the Kings gained confidence, strength and momentum as seen here with this big hit by this player. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

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