For the second straight year, the St. Augustine Queens senior girls volleyball club are off to the provincial championship in Three Hills.
The Queens played host to the 2A central zone tournament on Nov. 16 and maintained their perfect record this season on their way to win the zone title, although the road wasn’t as easy as their record shows.
The girls were forced to a third set in the final against Pigeon Lake, winning the match 25-19, 19-25, 15-7 in the first match at the tournament where St. A’s had to play a deciding set.
Part of the reason was how tired the girls were, explained head coach Tammy Emes, but there were also some unforced errors throughout the match.
“There was a little lull in that second set, just because of the length of the day,” Emes said, adding the girls were there at 7 a.m. to prepare for their first match.
“They worked hard, fought through it and came out strong in the third.”
Those errors came in both the first and second set, mostly not getting their serves in and too much power on some hits. The Queens overcame them to win the opening set, though they couldn’t dig themselves out in the second after falling behind early.
“Autumn Roos was tremendous from the service line in the final and did very well up front,” Emes stated.
“The team was very consistent through the round robin and in the semifinal. Pigeon Lake is a very good team, but our girls did well and it’s been an amazing run so far. Now, we just have to keep the positivity going and work very hard this week.”
In the round robin, the Queens picked up where they left off in their undefeated regular season by defeating Pigeon Lake 25-21, 25-20 before cruising past Blessed Sacrament from Wainwright 25-6, 25-13 before clinching top spot in their pool with a 25-20, 25-12 win over Sedgewick.
That was followed by a 25-20, 25-21 victory over their rivals from Rimbey in the semifinal.
The Queens are ranked among the top four 2A teams in the province and are hoping to learn from their fourth place finish last year. This season also marks the third time in school history that the girls squad has reached the championship — their first appearance was in 2013.
The club will play in a pool with Vauxhall, La Crete, Calgary Christian, Strathcona-Tweedsmuir from Okotoks and Ecole Beausejour from Plamondon.
Action gets underway for the Queens on Nov. 21 at 11: 30 a.m versus La Crete with the round robin finishing up Nov. 23 against Vauxhall. The playoffs will go that afternoon with the gold medal match set for 5:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Kings senior boys volleyball squad were in Camrose for their zone tournament, winding up fourth overall after falling in their semifinal match and then losing the bronze medal game.