Taber Rally battled its way through its 16-team division on the way to gold, despite only having one sub the whole time.
“The girls showed a lot of hard work and dedication. The girls finally learned how to finish. They had struggled throughout the season in finishing where we’d be within a couple of points and then the other team would creep up on us and eventually win because we couldn’t finish,” said Rally head coach Dee Schramm of a busy club volleyball season that has included three premier, two exhibition and one provincial tournament so far. “The girls finally put it all together and finished.”
Rally’s tournament included seven matches, starting off with round-robin play that saw the Rally play Kyle Jaguars (25-13, 25-17), Calgary Ace Club (17-25, 24-26) and Grande Prairie Wolves Black (23-25, 25-22, 15-13), putting themselves first in their pool in the process.
Playoff play included a 25-12, 25-17 win over Sylvan Lake Wave in the crossover. The playoff push continued with a 25-15, 25-20 win over Lacombe in the quarter-finals.
Semifinal play featured a 25-16, 12-25, 16-14 win over Edmonton Pandas in a nail-biter.
“We were beating them when we switched sides at 8-2 and we got up to 11-8 and then we had troubles a little bit, but they came together and pushed and did it,” said Schramm.
The championship final was against Canada West from Calgary in which Taber Rally proved the victor 25-23, 25-22.
“We built a lead and Canada West had 11 girls and we went to provincials with seven girls with one sub.
“We learned to work together and fight through our mistakes.”
“Nobody is perfect, everyone is going to make mistakes, it’s what you do with the next point after a mistake which makes the difference,” said Schramm of a Rally team that would bend, but not break in the championship final despite some weary legs with minimal substitution. “They fought through it and worked together. Over the season, between the hard work and the conditioning, they would follow a diet and the dedication was there. I give them the skills to do what they need to do, but it’s up to them to use them. And the biggest thing I’ve always said in volleyball is you have to talk and they communicated quite well.”
The provincial tournament also say two Rally players emerge as all-stars as well in Kennadi Bodnar and Mackenzie Lewicki.
Taber Rally is heading to nationals this weekend in Regina, Saskatchewan from May 17-19.