The junior boys’ and girls’ volleyball teams from St. Augustine School threw their passion and spirit for the game into their Early Bird Tournament, Sept. 21.
The exhibition-type tournament didn’t award medals. For the teams, including St. Augustine, Ponoka Secondary Campus, Stettler and Lacombe, it was about playing for the experience.
The junior boys may have lost their first game but rebounded with a win for their second. “We lost about half and won about half,” said fill-in coach Pam Hoffman.
“We’re definitely doing better than last year,” said player Zach Prediger. With maturity and more experience he feels the boys are coming together as a team.
While Hoffman isn’t the boys’ full-time coach, she also agrees their skills progressed. “I think a lot of their training carried over from last year.”
“I guess then the boys’ had some good passes, that was a highlight for me . . . It was good to see them come together as a team,” she added.
While both Prediger and teammate Daniel Ten Haaf hoped to win the tournament, they were looking to grow more as a team and have fun. “Pass and work together as a team, and not take every hit for yourself,” Prediger explained.
Both boys feel serving is the best part of the sport. “You have your own moment where you can show what you can do,” said Ten Haaf.
Three St. Augustine girls’ teams played during the tournament; Kim Turner and Kristen Paquette played for the second division 1 team.
“Our first game was really good, our second game was OK, and our third game was not,” said Paquette with a laugh.
“We’re having fun, this tournament is just for fun,” she added.
Turner says the players discovered a few flaws over the course of their games. “It’s nothing we can’t get through with practice.”
Like the boys, the girls’ team wanted to be able to play together as a team, especially when it comes to setting up their shots. “It’s like the best feeling when we get it together and it actually works,” said Paquette.
Coach Lindsey Schamber agreed the girls shining moments were the hits that came together. “I’m so proud of our team. They have already improved so much since the beginning of the year. Their serves are awesome and they played great as a team.”
This is Schamber’s the first time coaching the girls as an A2 team but she coached many of them last year on the B team.
The team has improved their skill level and Schamber says they’re going to keep improving. “I hope we can learn to set up hitting plays every time we receive the ball. That would be an ideal goal for our team.”