In keeping with the spirit of the long weekend, the Ponoka Warriors Volleyball Club’s Family Day tournament was all about getting active and enjoying some fun as well as some competition.
The 12th annual female tournament, held Feb. 18 and 19, is a kick-off to the club volleyball season for most teams and this year was the biggest ever for the Warriors.
“This is the first time we have hosted it over two days with all four divisions and the most number of teams with 32,” said Warriors’ Darren Josephison.
“The tournament is more about getting playing time and touches (on the ball) for the players as well as facing some actual competition before the club season begins. So in that way, it’s a fun weekend without a lot of the pressure.”
With the move to more teams, the event ran three courts at St. Augustine School over two days with the Under-16 and Under-15 divisions playing on the Sunday while the Monday was taken over by the Under-17, Under-14 and Under-13 divisions.
It was a successful tournament for the Warriors U17 and U16 squads, both of which went undefeated in all eight sets that were played. And while the Warriors U13 team didn’t manage to win a set, it was still a good day for the club.
“For most of the teams, this is the really the first time they have been on the court together this season and this is their tune up for the season,” stated Josephison.
“For the Warriors, with the exception of the U13s, we’ve been on the floor for some time now and the girls are at a little bit higher level of competition than many other teams right now. The U16s are preparing for the Premier 1 season that starts next weekend in Edmonton, so it was good to get on the floor and work on things in order to get the season of on the right foot.”
The U17s have already begun their Premier 1 season with a tournament in Edmonton Feb. 10 and 11, going 4-4 in Division 2.
Additionally, there were two other local teams participating the Family Day tournament, the U15 and U14 Central Rage.
The U15 squad went undefeated in its eight matches despite missing three members of the squad who were playing for Zone 4 at the Alberta Winter Games in Fort McMurray, where the squad wound up fourth following a close loss in the bronze medal game Monday. Results from the U14 games were not available.