The Broncs senior boys’ volleyball team has performed so well it has earned home court advantage at zone championships for Nov. 17 at Ponoka Composite High School gym.
Coach Ron Labrie feels the team will play some of the same teams from the beginning of the season; the toughest being Wetaskiwin. Their offense and defensive tactics are similar to the Broncs’, explained Labrie. He feels they have a strong chance at winning but things can change quickly. “Volleyball is a such a momentum game.”
There are two challenges the team faces coming in to zones; one is in their attack, Labrie wants to see different ways of getting the ball into the other court.
The other is mental discipline. The team is working on their ability to keep emotions down in high pressure situations, said Labrie, especially in times of injury or when down in points.
“That’s been the major focus over the last week.”
Labrie believes the team has a fighting chance to qualify for provincials. “I think we have the talent and skill set.” It is dependent on whether the team can bring it together. To be prepared, the Broncs are going to take advantage of the fall break to practice and ensure they keep their momentum. None of the members play club volleyball outside of the school year, yet Labrie believes they have been able to play and win against more experienced teams despite the disadvantage.
“So it gives us a vote of confidence…that’s a huge feather in our cap,” he said.
With four graduating seniors, Josh Prediger, Colton Prediger, Kenton Rodney and Paul Thijssen, Labrie hopes the transformation works well for the Broncs next year. “I feel the seniors have done a good job of carrying the way.”
His Grade 11 players have also received valuable court time and experience and he believes they will be next year’s leaders.
Four teams head to the round robin championships: Ponoka, Wetaskiwin, Camrose and Stettler.