By Trevor Busch
In volleyball zones held over the weekend at Lethbridge College, the St. Mary’s Auroras girls volleyball team went down to defeat in round robin play versus four opponents.
The Auroras were seeded sixth of 12 teams in the zone tournament, and were hoping to finish in the top three in its pool.
“Two teams go to provincials in Elk Point, so our goal was ‘the finals’,” said head coach Pat Pyne. “Coming off of a weekend where our play had really taken a step up, it was realistic, but we’d have to play our best.”
In its first match versus Willow Creek, the Auroras played hard but came up short for a disappointing result, especially coming after a League Championship weekend where the team played well. The Auroras lost against Willow Creek in two games (23-25, 26-28).
“The first match versus Willow Creek is what set the tone for our weekend, and really did us in,” said Pyne. “Being down 23-16 in the first game, and then tying it at 23. We had all the momentum, only to lose that game. The second wasn’t much different — down 24-17, we tied it at 24 but could not finish.”
The Auroras managed to take one game 25-19 versus Raymond, but then lost two 22-25 and 9-15.
“We got behind early in just about all of our games, and that beat us down,” said Pyne. “Our confidence took a hit, and we never rebounded. I’ll take the wrap for that, because I sure can’t fault the kids for their effort.”
The team suffered subsequent losses versus Magrath (7-25, 22-25) and Kate Andrews (17-25, 14-25).
“The girls worked hard, as they did all season,” said Pyne. “I feel the group made big strides from the beginning of the year. The potential is there for this group to have success.
“Now we have to make it happen. We lose only one player to graduation for next season. With seven Grade 11’s and eight Grade 10’s — and a swack of girls interested in Junior High — the future looks bright in that regard.”
Pyne also congratulated Daylin Holmen for her years of dedication to the team.