By Dale Cory
The St. Augustine Queens were the best of the bunch at a 12-team volleyball tournament held in Castor Oct. 1 and 2.
St. Augustine didn’t lose a match on the way to the tournament victory. In fact, the Queens didn’t even lose a set.
The Queens opened the tournament by defeating league rival Caroline 25-23 and 25-19, then knocked off a scrappy Big River, Sask. team 25-19 and 25-19. To wrap up the round robin, the Queens beat Forestburg 25-20 and 25-17.
With a first place seeding in their pool, the Queens took on St. Dominics from Rocky Mountain House in the semifinal, winning 25-16 and 25-21.
In the tournament final, the Queens were once again matched up with Caroline. St. Augustine built up a seemingly solid lead of 22-16 in the first set, only to see Caroline battle back to tie at 23-23. But an electrifying kill by Kaitlin Lomas, followed by a sneaky tip by Alex Josephison, gave the Queens a 25-23 win.
With the championship on the line, the second set also proved to be a nail-biter. The Queens pulled ahead 23-20, and for several minutes, the teams battled through rallies of strong hitting and tenacious defence, until the Ponoka team took the final two points to win the championship.
“Leading the way for our team all weekend was smooth-passing Libero Lisa Marie Mclennan,” said head coach Darren Josephison. “Numerous coaches have commented on how she gives our team a distinct advantage that other teams do not have.”
St. Augustine also had a strong showing in two earlier tournaments, coming in second out of 14 teams in the Central West League seeding tournament, and sixth out of 20 teams in the Camrose tournament.
In league competition, the Queens are 2-1 after wins over St. Dominics and Rimbey. Next home game for the Queens is Oct. 13 vs. Spruceview.
St. Augustine will host its third annual Turkey Burner tournament Oct. 15 and16.