Once again, it came down to a showdown against two great volleyball programs.
The St. Augustine Queens ended the 2A girls volleyball provincial championship, hosted in Three Hills Nov. 21 to 23, with their second straight fourth place finish.
The senior girls squad wound up facing Calgary’s Rundle College in the semi-final for the second straight year and came out on the losing side, putting them into the bronze medal game where they weren’t able to defeat Vauxhall.
“I feel extremely proud of the accomplishment that we finished fourth out of 94 teams in the province,” said Queens head coach Tammy Emes.
“The round robin games were very tough competition, but the girls stayed positive and worked very hard to keep the intensity and determination.”
Rundle, who finished first in the opposite pool, won the semi-final 25-21, 25-12.
“Rundle has a very strong volleyball program, very strong offensive team. It is hard to play our game when we are on the defence most of the game,” Emes stated.
“Both teams are complementary to one another — where we are strongest, Rundle tends to have weaknesses and that is true in the reverse. Both teams work hard to keep each other on our toes. They have a formidable team, but we are just as formidable.”
The bronze medal game was close in the first set with the Queens losing 25-18, then fell back a bit to lose the second 25-13.
“Vauxhall is a tough serving team and kept us off balance of our game,” Emes said.
“It comes down to, well, we can adapt, but it can be hard to adapt in such fast moving situations with such a pressure-filled environment. But, the girls played hard and did their best.”
In their round robin pool, the Queens rattled off four straight wins over La Crete (25-21,25-21), Okotoks’ Strathcona Tweedsmuir (25-18, 25-17), Ecole Beausejours from Plamondon(25-15, 25-18) and Calgary Christian (25-14, 25-17) before being knocked out of top spot in their last match against Vauxhall (25-21, 25-18).
That put them in second and having to play the host Three Hills in a quarter final where the Queens won 25-12, 26-24.
“It’s hard to say exactly what the differences were between round robin matches and the playoff matches,” she said.
“It could be that teams are feeling more comfortable come the next day, or any other factors. I just know that my girls worked hard and did their best in every single game they played.
“I would just like to reiterate how proud I am of the girls, of how hard they worked and how well they played. It’s also disappointing to lose the last game that you play, but I am still proud of each and every one of those girls.”
The provincial final saw Rundle College go on to beat Magrath.