Ten central Alberta volleyball teams converged on St. Augustine Catholic School last weekend to vie for bragging rights.
There were two junior St. Augustine teams during the school’s Spooktacular volleyball tournament. To fit the theme, teams dressed up in fun costumes such as the Ghostbusters, nerds and camouflage. Organizer and junior A coach Kelci Aberle said the home teams were able to play against competitors they do not normally compete with. “It’s just to bring some outside competition.”
She coaches Team Lightning, which placed third in the tournament. There are a few teams in the league with the ability to win, including Thunder.
“It could go one way or the other,” explained Aberle.
Many of her players are aging out of the junior program this year and could play in either the junior varsity team or the senior team depending on their skill level. Aberle wants to get them ready for a higher level of competition.
“I have a lot of Grade 9s. It’s nice to prepare them for high school volleyball,” she said.
They are busy too; the girls practice twice a week and then usually have two league games on the weekend.
“This is more of a developmental league, playing time is a great way to practice,” said Aberle.
The team is preparing themselves for CWAJHAA finals set for Nov. 16. Aberle is having the girls continue working on getting better as the date gets closer.
“We’ll keep practicing new moves and new things.”
The second volleyball team, called Team Thunder, did not place in the tournament but coach Lindsey Schamber said the weekend brought strong growth for the players. “It’s good to see the way that they improve. You can see it so much.”
There were many “three hits and lots of encouragement,” from the players as well.
If some of the Grade 9 girls decide to move on and try out for the junior varsity team there is a lot of potential for growth. “They’ll learn a lot playing at that calibre.”
Despite not placing, the team enjoyed dressing up for the tournament and building up team camaraderie.
“I think we just have a really great group of positive girls,” stated Schamber.