Although her volleyball team did not earn a medal at the Alberta Winter Games, Lauren Bussiere thrived in the high-pressure environment.
Her team represented Zone 4 at the winter games recently in Banff and Canmore and they almost made it to the gold medal match. The stakes were high, though, and the best young volleyball athletes in the province also wanted a chance at glory.
“All the teams were good,” said Bussiere.
During the match that would qualify her team to compete for the gold medal, Bussiere said her team trailed behind in points. They rallied to even the score in both games of the qualifying match but the deficit was too large to close the gap. “We fell behind in both of them.”
While not completely ready for this level of volleyball, Bussiere found herself enjoying close games against her opponents.
“It’s a lot tougher than what I play in high school,” said Bussiere.
“It definitely made me want to step up my game,” she added.
There was a high energy level in all her games and while it created some stress on the young volleyball player, it also helped her to do better. The bronze medal game against Calgary was close enough that Zone 4 took Calgary to a tie-breaker game. “It was close.”
They beat Calgary 20-25 in the first game, lost 25-20 in the second but could not keep the momentum of the first game to win the tie-breaker and secure the bronze medal.
“If you’re going to get behind you really have to work to get it back. It was close but just not in our favour,” said Bussiere.
She enjoyed seeing other Ponoka athletes supporting her team during some matches and despite not having time to see the other sporting events, enjoyed supporting the boys’ Zone 4 volleyball team.
Bussiere’s mother Susan, feels the entire winter games is a healthy competition for young athletes. She enjoyed seeing parents and families support those involved.
“It was an exciting atmosphere,” said Susan.
Bussiere looks forward to continue playing volleyball with her club team and is eager to play the next season of volleyball.