Two U14 girls volleyball teams from the East Kootenay Volleyball Club have returned from a tournament in Edmonton with some impressive results, hauling back some gold and bronze medals.
The top tier ‘A’ team, coached by Fred Searle and Jodie Charlton, burned through the opposition to finish in first place, while the ‘B’ team lost a heartbreaker in the semifinal, but made up for it with a bronze medal at the Alberta Volleyball Association provincial tournament this past weekend.
The coaches for the ‘B’ team weren’t able to make it out over the weekend, but they got some college-level help to make up for it.
Brian Millis, the assistant coach for the women’s College of the Rockies Avalanche volleyball team, stepped in and provided guidance for the U14 squad.
“They called me and said, ‘We need a coach and your name came up,’” said Millis. “I didn’t have anything going on, so I went to two or three practices and came home with a lot more than I expected.”
His girls competed in a pool of 18 teams, and played eight games over the two-day tournament.
“They were definitely drained by the end of the weekend,” said Millis.
The squad played their way to a win and two losses in round robin, which seeded them against a first-ranked team in another pool for a cross-over game.
The East Kootenay girls then pulled off a dramatic upset, according to Millis.
Facing a 21-10 deficit in the second set, the girls rallied after Katie Rodgers served 10 in a row, as the team came back to win the set 26-24.
The girls then cruised through the Lethbridge Volleyball Club and beat them in straight sets in the quarter finals, setting up a semifinal date with a team from Grande Prairie.
It was a tough game, and the EKVC ended up losing in straight sets, which prevented an appearance in the final.
However, it pitted them against the St. Albert Saints for dibs on the bronze medal, and the club came through with a strong finish, winning the remaining two sets after dropping their opener.