Spartans win dramatic zone final
Volleyball: STS down Acme Redmen to earn trip to provincials
Wednesday, Nov 22, 2017 09:58 am
The Strathcona-Tweedsmuir Spartans made life Les Misérables for the opposition on the volleyball court.
The Spartans, with five players in the school’s cast for its upcoming production of Les Misérables, won the South Central 2A zones by downing the Acme Redmen 2-1 in the final Saturday in Three Hills.
“It shows how diverse are athletes are,” said STS setter Nico Belanger, who is also in Les Mis. “It shows how we can manage our time and commit to two things. It’s great.”
They needed full commitment and attention to beat a solid Redmen squad. Both STS and Acme steam-rolled their way to the finals as they went into the best of three-match undefeated.
The Redmen had downed STS earlier this season in a tourney at Picture Butte.
“We knew we had to work our hardest to win,” Belanger said of the zone final. “We were diving for every ball and looking past any mistakes we made.”
STS won the opening set 26-24, before dropping the second set 25-22.
The third set was an indication of how good these teams were. STS pulled off a narrow 15-12 victory for the zone title.
“When it was 12-12, the six guys on the court really knew what they had to do and they went out and did it,” Belanger said.
The Spartans won the zone title when a Redmen spike went out of bounds.
A gutsy move by a solid team, Spartans coach Dale Roth said of Acme.
“I give Acme full credit,” Roth said. “They swung hard and it went out. To swing hard at 14-12 when you are down is pretty gutsy.”
Roth’s coaching style going into the final match was a variation of the old KISS philosophy. It was KISSTS — Keep it Simple STS.
“I told the boys I have complete confidence that they can do it and have the ability to win this match,” Roth said. “I didn’t get too technical. They have been through things throughout the season and I didn’t want to drown them in technical things.”
He did do some coaching though, calling a crucial timeout at 12-12 in the final shortened set.
“We were on serve and I said to boys: ‘Hey we practice for this where we have to score off a defence when the other team has the first attack. This is just another drill we do all the time.’”
Perfect practice makes perfect.
The Spartans held their serve for the final three points to book a trip to Taber for the 2A provincials as South Central zones this weekend.
The Spartans open up against the Rundle College Cobras on Thursday.
The past two years, the Spartans were knocking on the door of the medals, but came up just short.
“The last couple years we were just in the playoff rounds, but eluded making the second round,” Roth said. “We would like to get past the first round to guarantee either a gold or bronze medal match.”
To follow the Spartans play at zones go to www.asaa.ca and follow the links.
The STS Spartans Senior girls just missed out on making a trip to provincials. They lost to Acme in the zone final at Brooks.