For both Bashaw Rebels volleyball teams, a provincial berth just wasn’t in the cards.
The senior boys wound up finishing third at the 1A central zone playoff in Bawlf, while the senior girls ended up in fourth at their zone playoff in Provost, both held Nov. 15 and 16.
For the boys, head coach Jesse Viske felt it was a great end to their season even though the club didn’t wind up at provincials.
“It was a great tournament for us. We ended up defeating all teams in our pool — Bawlf, Olds and Consort — putting us first in our pool,” he said.
“We played CACHS (Central Alberta Christian) out of Lacombe in the semifinal, where we ended up losing a tight first set 25-22 and then we sunk down from that tough loss in the second set 25-16.
“We ended the tournament as bronze medalists, where the boys managed to worked through the loss and finish off with a big win over Bawlf. A great end to the season.”
The girls, on the other hand, were in tough from the start only to wind up suffering a blow they couldn’t recover from.
The tournament began with a three set thriller against Provost Public that ended in the Rebels favour 25-22, 20-25, 15-7.
“The girls really got their game going in the third versus Provost, pulling away early in that set,” said head coach Don Seale.
Up next was a huge test, the reigning provincial champs from CACHS, and while it was close, the Lacombe squad won 29-27, 25-18.
“Playing CACHS, the first set was a dogfight with the lead going back and forth and the girls playing very well. We lost and then couldn’t get our game together in the second set,” he added.
Bashaw concluded the round robin the next day with another three set match against Coronation, where the Rebels had to come from behind to gain the victory 19-25, 25-21, 16-14.
“Both sides played extremely well, but we seemed to have more firepower and prevailed to put us in second place in the pool,” Seale added.
That put the Rebels into the quarter-final against the host squad St. Thomas Aquinas and posted a convincing 25-18, 25-18 win. For Seale and the team, this set the stage for a rivalry match against Bawlf in the semi-final.
“This is something we have been anticipating since early in the season,” Seale said.
While the Rebels played extremely well in the first set, they lost the set 26-24 after not being able to hold onto the lead late in that set. As for the second set, Bawlf cruised to the win 25-13 after one of the Rebels starters left the match with an injury, leaving Bashaw now unable to match the height of the Bawlf attack on the right side of the court.
The bronze medal match against Daysland, a club Bashaw had beaten previously this season, was close. However, the Rebels would lose 26-24, 25-22.
“Without our starting line intact and being emotionally down from not achieving our goal of beating Bawlf, we lost. The girls were very disappointed in not qualifying for provincials,” said Seale.
“We had a very good season and the girls should be proud of how well they did. We had a winning percentage of .780 over the course of the year, and demonstrated excellent individual and team skills throughout.”