Senior girls fall one short of volleyball title

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The St. Martin de Porres Kodiaks senior girls’ volleyball team impressed many getting to the Calgary Senior High School Athletic Association (CSHSAA) finals, but couldn’t finish its season with a championship win.

This season the Kodiaks boasted a young and inexperienced roster, carrying just a pair of Grade 12s with the majority of the roster made up of athletes in grades 10 and 11. But the team got on an impressive roll in Division 3 of the CSHSAA, coming into the playoffs with an 8-2 record and making it to the City Championship Game Nov. 18.

“We had a really awesome season. The team worked together,” head coach Catherine Wadden said. “There is nothing to hang their heads about, they are an awesome team.

“I’m excited for what we did this season, even though it sucks we didn’t come out on top. What the team accomplished was awesome.”

The goal for every team coming into a new season is to push for a city championship, but the Kodiaks came in with much more subdued expectations after losing four starters from last season’s squad and being a young team.

Wadden said her team wasn’t deterred because it was a younger team, instead the team rallied around that identity and became a difficult opponent for most in Division 3.

The Kodiaks dropped two of its first four games, but rattled off six straight wins to finish 8-2 and secure the third seed heading into the playoffs.

“(The girls) had a real good team morale that made a big difference,” Wadden said. “People fit into different roles and put it all together.”

In the playoffs, the Kodiaks knocked off the Henry Wise Wood Warriors three sets to one Nov. 14 and avenged one of its earlier regular season teams when it knocked off the St. Timothy Thunder in three straight sets Nov. 16, setting up a finals matchup with the James Fowler Falcons Nov. 18.

In the finals, the Kodiaks had a chance to pull off the upset over the top-seeded Falcons, winning the first and third sets but couldn’t hold on for the victory, dropping the fourth and fifth to lose three sets to two.

“Even though we didn’t come out on top, that game was as much of ours as it was theirs,” Wadden said. “Of course it (still stings). That would be B.S. if anyone says it didn’t.”

There is a little uncertainty with how the team is going to perform heading into next season with the departure of longtime setter Natalya Hauser, who has been a staple on the team since joining as a Grade 10 three seasons ago.

“Obviously, the goal will be a city championship, but it depends what happens in the fall and who comes out,” Wadden said. “The number 1 thing to figure out is the setting situation.”

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