It may have been a smaller tournament, but it was gold nonetheless for the 14U Riverside Rebels girls volleyball team this past weekend at home.
The club team won the 13U provincials last year, and this year’s team is essentially the same, save for one new player, and one player who stuck behind to keep playing with the 13U team.
According to the Rebels' coach, the tournament proved to be a good way to get back into the groove, because most of the team hadn’t been able to focus on volleyball the past few weeks.
“It was an awesome experience to get some games in because our girls have been engaged in school basketball, so we’ve been kind of slowly getting into volleyball,” Rebels head coach Vic Stynsky said. “We’ve played some exhibition matches but we haven’t had a tournament. It was nice to get a full day in where we played some other 14U teams and actually the Biggar team was a 15U team so we got to play some competitive volleyball.”
The tournament saw four teams – one each from Humboldt, Biggar, Cudworth, and the Rebels – play a double round robin before the top two teams faced off in the final.
The Rebels went 5-1 in the round robin and won 25-22 and 25-10 in the finals.
“We passed the ball very well this weekend,” Stynsky said. “We play well as a team. We’re a good passing team. To be successful in volleyball, you’ve got to be able to pass the ball. That’s kind of our key; that’s our strength.
“The one set that we did lose, it was because of our passing. The girls know and understand that they’ve got to do the fundamentals correctly for us to be successful.”
Unlike boys club volleyball in the province, girls volleyball has three Sask Cups before provincials, instead of just two. The Rebels missed the first Sask Cup two weekends ago in Saskatoon due to basketball commitments but they will compete this upcoming weekend in the second Sask Cup of the season, which for 14U girls is being held in Saskatoon and Warman.
There are a total of 34 teams that will compete, who have been split into eight pools.
“We’ve been to provincials and we’ve had matches where it’s been high pressure,” Stynsky said. “They’ve overcome it and been able to be successful so I think just having that experience [helps] when we show up at the big tournaments where there is 20 or 30 teams.
“I think that’s going to help our team kind of shake off any nerves or anything that they might have.”
Battlefords Volleyball Club's Xplosion will also compete in the same Sask Cup this upcoming weekend.
After that, the Rebels schedule won’t let up. They will be in Humboldt for a tournament March 18 and then Battlefords Volleyball Club hosts one the weekend of April 1 that the Rebels will also attend, followed by a tournament in Prince Albert the following weekend.
The third Sask Cup is in Yorkton on March 25, with provincials set for April 21-23.
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