Not one, not two, but three times is a charm for St. Augustine volleyball this season.
All three high school clubs — senior boys Kings plus the senior and JV girls Queens — at Ponoka’s Catholic school are walking away as league champions for 2018, marking the first time ever the school has swept the West Central 2A league banners in this fashion.
And that’s not all, as the senior Kings squad also made history being the first boys volleyball team at the school to claim a league title. That feat also means the school will play host to the provincial zone playoff tournament Nov. 16 and 17.
Head coach Justin Florean is excited about what the team has accomplished this season and at the prospect of what remains on the horizon.
“The boys have been really great and been impressive in their play, especially when it comes to our consistency. I do expect a lot, but the team has played well and improved as the season has gone on,” he stated.
“A three month season isn’t a lot of time, but this team is more athletic which means they are a lot more creative and make things work when a rally turns to chaos. There are also more guys that can really swing and hit for us.”
He added that the constant improvement also means there is still room for the team to get better as the Kings concentrate on the next task — making it to their first ever provincial championship.
“Our strongest competition at zones will come from Our Lady of Mount Pleasant (OLMP) of Camrose,” said Florean about the school that will host both the 2A boys and girls volleyball provincials Nov. 22 to 24.
“They are very skilled and tough to play against, though my hope is to finish first in our pool and make the final against them.”
Should that happen, the Kings would automatically earn a berth into the provincial tournament.
Meanwhile, the senior Queens club has cruised through the season, and with one match remaining, has lost just one set in 2018 league action.
Head coach Darren Josephison noted it is rewarding to take the league title in this fashion.
“I did not expect us to win the league this year with so many Grade 10s on the team, but everyone has played very well individually and as a team,” he stated, adding the run up to zones in Camrose at OLMP will see the team working on a few things.
“We have some tournaments and exhibition games where we will continue to improve on our offence. Staying sharp and focused is important in a busy and draining season.”
Josephison is also confident the girls will join OLMP as it hosts provincials, noting that when the Queens are clicking on offence, they are hard to beat when combined with the team’s great defence, serve and service reception.
Serves Up – The Queens showed they are powering up toward zones, by capturing the championship at a tournament in Leduc on the weekend despite some struggles early. The squad managed to get past it and pushed their way past several larger 3A schools in the playoffs to take the title. The team will also head to Rocky Mountain House this weekend for another tournament.