By Dale Cory
It’s been their season so far.
When the St. Augustine School Queens hosted the third annual Turkey Burner high school girls’ volleyball tournament Oct. 15 and 16, they were certainly the favourites going into the event.
Considering the Queens had already won the Castor tournament, and finished second in a seeding tourney, they were a confident bunch when they took to the court for their first match against Beiseker. The Queens eliminated the Bandits in straight games by scores of 25-19 and 25-10. It was a good start to the round robin portion of the 12-team tournament, which saw St. Augustine win all five preliminary matches.
Also on Friday, Ponoka took out Parkland Immanuel Christian from Edmonton 25-18 and 25-10, then swept Rimbey 25-12 and 25-13.
The Queens continued round robin play Saturday morning with a win over Heritage Christian of Calgary by 25-19 and 25-13 scores, before splitting with Bassano — dropping the first set 24-26, and winning the second set 25-20.
By finishing first in their pool with a 9-1 record, the Queens received a bye into the semifinals. The matchup with Smokey Lake proved to be difficult, giving head coach Darren Josephison a true taste of what his players would do with their backs against the wall.
The Eagles took the first set 20-25 — forcing the host Queens into a must-win situation. St. Augustine rebounded in the second set with a 25-19 win to force a tiebreaker. In the third set, with the score tied at 12-12, Richelle Kraft subbed in to serve the last three points, giving St. Augustine a tense 15-12 win, and a spot in the championship match.
The final match would pit the Queens against league rival Caroline.
Considering St. Augustine had defeated the Cougars to win the Castor tournament in early October, but lost to Caroline in the Central West League seeding tournament in early September — the victor would be allowed to claim early-season bragging rights.
Caroline came out fired up, winning the first set 21-25.
The Queens responded with their own 25-19 win, thanks to some great left-side hits from Grade 12 rookie Lennea Radkie.
With the tournament championship coming down to a final set to 15 points, the teams eagerly took the court. The score went back and forth by one point in the early going, with the Queens holding an 8-6 lead at the midway break. Caroline battled back to tie the score at nine, and it was anybody’s match.
That is — until Kelly Cire took control.
Cire stepped up to serve five straight points, giving the Queens a 14-9 lead. After several riveting rallies, the Queens prevailed 15-10, to claim their second Turkey Burner trophy in three years.
“ ,” said Josephison. “ .”
As for the other winners… in the bronze medal match, Smokey Lake defeated Bassano, while St. Dominic’s of Rocky Mountain House defeated David Thompson in the consolation final.
Fun league open to volleyball players… St. Augustine School will host a fun league for volleyball players in grades 4 to 6 on Oct. 22 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. St. As has plans to run this league every Friday during volleyball season for little kids. To find out more information, call Adam Bowie at St. Augustine at 403-704-1155, or e-mail organizer Maryann Baden at: firstname.lastname@example.org