The Holy Rosary High School Raiders senior girls volleyball team, with back row from left, coach Brad Johnston, Taryn Bender, Lexi Wood, Kassie Reid, Janae Jordan, Krizelle Pelagio, Skye Hofer, Madison Johnston, Avery Stephens, coach Anthony Bender; front row, Brittany Enstrom, Emma Stephens and Renzelle Horner, celebrate their home tournament championship win on Saturday. JAMIE HARKINS LLS PHOTO
The Holy Rosary High School Raiders senior girls volleyball team was unbeatable at their annual home tournament.
“I feel like we played our best this weekend,” said Raiders libero and left side Skye Hofer.
“We played really hard and no balls dropped. The setting was good, the hitting was good and in general, we were all just doing our jobs properly.”
The Raiders bested the Wynyard Composite High School Bears 25-23 and 25-19 in the championship game on Saturday evening.
The win marked an improvement over their three-set victory against the Bears in pool play earlier in the tournament.
“They definitely played better in this last game,” said Renzelle Horner, who plays setter for the Raiders.
“The championship always brings the best out of everybody. It was a good match.”
The Bears jumped out to an early 6-4 lead on the Raiders in the first set of the final thanks to the strong net play of Cierra Prisiak.
A dominant serve by Bears captain Logan Shannon helped move the advantage to 13-9, before the home side pushed back on kills by Lexi Wood and Janae Jordan as well as a block at the net from Horner and Emma Stephens.
A Brittany Enstrom tip into the middle of the court gave the Raiders their first lead since the opening point at 15-14.
Each club then battled back and forth with Taryn Bender securing the win on two straight hits into the backcourt.
Bender’s serve helped the Raiders start strong in the second set. Jordan took over from there scoring 10 points on tips and spikes from the side of the net to give the Raiders a two-set win.
“Her line hits were really good and tough to block,” said Shannon, about Jordan’s ability to find open court.
“If we could have blocked her more, that would have helped us.”
Hofer said they’ve been experimenting with different techniques and tricks in practice to build a more balanced attack and defence.
She said they might be a young team with a few Grade 10 athletes starting in their front six, but there are no weak spots in the lineup.
“We have the (Lloydminster Comprehensive High School) tournament this weekend,” added Horner.
“We’re excited to play in it. I think we’re just going to keep building on what we already have to get stronger as a team.”