The St. Martin de Porres Kodiaks senior boys’ volleyball team put a cap on its season taking part in the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association (ASAA) 3A Provincials Nov. 23 to 25.
Although the team didn’t get the title at provincials, head coach Edmund Crame said the season was still extremely successful and something the team should take pride in.
“Provincials was never necessarily our goal. Our goal was to develop our skills and to build momentum heading into next year,” Crame said. “We knew we had it in tough this year with so many of our kids graduating from our program last year, so this year was all about development.
“Even though we didn’t have the results we wanted at provincials, the kids had fun. More importantly, I was proud of how they conducted themselves throughout the whole tournament.”
The Kodiaks came into the tournament ranked as the fifth seed, but weren’t quite up to the level of play in comparison to the rest of the teams. Crame said his team played tough and didn’t get too down on itself going 0-5 in the round robin.
“We wanted to showcase the best of our skills that we have been working on over the season, Unfortunately, we were a little flat,” Crame said. “The kids really love the experience…. It will make some of them more hungry to develop even further and work harder so next year, if they get an opportunity to get to provincials, they can put a better competitive team out there.”
Early in the tournament the Kodiaks were in close battles, dropping a two-set decision (18-25 and 15-25) to the Louis St. Laurent Barons and following up with its closest contest of the tournament – a three-set loss (18-25, 25-21, 7-15) to the St. Paul Regional High Saints.
When the Kodiaks dropped its third game to the host Strathmore High Spartans (19-25, 18-25), it fell out of playoff contention and had just a pair of games remaining in its season.
“The thing with volleyball, is it is definitely a game of momentum and there is so much more to it than just being a good volleyball player,” Crame said.
The Kodiaks fell in its final two games to the Morinville Community High Wolves and Magrath School Zeniths in straight-sets to finish the tournament 0-5.
Playing in such a long season, Crame said there were going to be highs and lows. He added the Kodiaks Calgary Senior High School Athletic Association Division 3 City Championship was the major high for his team.
“Through the season you have these peaks and valleys and we hit a peak last week on our way into playoffs,” Crame said. “Having said that, I thought we were average and needed to be at our best to be competitive with teams.”
With the season coming to a close, Crame is already looking forward to next season. He said he is looking to build off this season’s success with a young squad and a large crop of players eligible to return.
Crame said he hopes his team will move up a division in the CSHSAA, adding he wants to challenge his players to more than just go out and win Division 3 for a second season in a row.