Kodiaks defeat Chargers in boys volleyball tournament
Since both schools compete in separate high school athletic conferences, it’s not often the St. Martin de Porres Kodiaks and the Bert Church Chargers boys’ volleyball teams get to square off against one another.
The rarity of those contests is what made the finals of the inaugural Charger Classic volleyball tournament an exciting one on Sept. 14 at Bert Church High School, as the Kodiaks prevailed in two sets (25-22 and 25-11) over the Chargers.
“Whenever we get the chance to play Bert Church or George McDougall, it is always a ton of fun,” Kodiaks Head Coach Ryan Johnson said. “The only time that we go head-to-head with the other schools in Airdrie is at tournaments such as this and since the players all know one another, it makes for a nice, friendly rivalry.”
For the Kodiak players, the fact they were able to start off their season with a tournament win in Airdrie was something they were quite proud of.
“The kids and the coaches that are a part of this program know what it is to be successful and we were able to come together here this weekend,” Grade 12 student Jay Titley said.
“In order to be successful, you need to work together and that was what we did.”
Throughout the championship tilt, the Kodiaks had a strong presence at the front of the net during the best-of-three set encounter, as they were able to come up with some key blocks and timely smashes in order to pull away from the Chargers.
“We try to work on everything that we possibly can in practice, and from our setting to our defensive skills, it all comes together for us,” Titley said. “Mind you, without a good pass from the back row, our front-row attackers would not be able to get the strong hits that they do.”
Though the Chargers fell one game short of winning its home tournament, Head Coach Carol Smith said the team could be proud of how it performed.
“From the start of the tournament on Friday until the end on Saturday, the guys gave it their all,” she said. “We did make a few mental errors, but we were never out of it and we can improve on things as we go forward.”
Smith was also pleased by the fact that the first Charger Classic, which featured five teams in the boys’ and girls’ division, went off without a hitch.
“Everything went really smoothly, which was nice,” she said. “This wasn’t a huge tournament with a large amount of teams, so that allowed us the space between games to deal with any issues that came up.”
“But no hiccups happened, and the coaches from the other teams all seemed to be happy with it,” Smith added.
The girls’ tournament final was an-all-Calgary affair between the St. Gabriel Guardians and the Bearspaw Christian Grizzlies.
When the dust settled, it was the Guardians who would take home the trophy as it won in two sets (25-17 and 25-18) over the Grizzlies.