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Springbank volleyball teams lose to Cochrane

It was the battle of the titans in the 2018 Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) senior boys’ volleyball league Oct. 29, when the Springbank Phoenix took on the Cochrane Cobras.
First and second
Cochrane Cobras players Riley Kimmell (No. 3) and Griffin Sharkey (No. 12) block a spike against the Springbank Phoenix. The Cobras won the Oct. 29 match in five sets.

It was the battle of the titans in the 2018 Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) senior boys’ volleyball league Oct. 29, when the Springbank Phoenix took on the Cochrane Cobras. Both teams were undefeated in league play coming into the first-against-second match-up, which concluded the regular RVSA season. Fittingly, the match went the distance, with Cochrane eventually overcoming Springbank in five sets (20-25, 25-16, 25-20, 19-25, 15-10). The two teams showed why they are at the top of the RVSA – both played cleanly and efficiently on offence, and neither made many unforced errors. “We knew it was going to be a battle, coming in to face these guys,” said Springbank’s coach Daniel Kleer, who added his players passed, set and blocked well. “Everything was good; we just had a couple players out with injuries, which kind of hindered us.” Kleer said his team performed admirably against a strong Cochrane side that features seven Grade-12 players. “They have a lot of seniors this year. That’s no excuse, but I was expecting five sets,” he said. “They weren’t going to just lay down and let us win.” Senior Jack Cochran – who plays as both a setter and power – said he hopes to face the Cobras again, either in the RVSA championship match Nov. 9 or at South Central Zones later this month. “We were evenly matched,” said Cochran, who also plays competitive U18 club ball for the Canuck Stuff Volleyball Club in Calgary. “We were missing one of our good players – Ben [Saville] – but he’ll be back next time, so hopefully we’ll do a bit better.” By finishing second in the RVSA with a 4-1 record, the Phoenix enjoyed a bye through to the semi-finals. Springbank’s first post-season contest will take place Nov. 7, against the winner of the quarter-final match between the W.H. Croxford Cavaliers and the Chestermere Lakers. First set for the semi-final will be at 7:15 p.m. at Springbank Community High School. The RVSA championship game is set for Nov. 9.

Girls lose in Cochrane

Over in Cochrane, a similar storyline was taking shape Oct. 29 in the RVSA senior girls’ volleyball league. The Springbank Phoenix took on the Cochrane Cobras to determine the first-place finisher in the regular season. Both teams had dominated their RVSA opponents this year, with neither losing even a single set in the first five matches. That run came to an end for the Phoenix, as the Cobras won in straight sets (29-27, 25-10, 25-15). The sweep ensures Cochrane remains unbeaten this season, having won 18 sets in a row. Springbank’s head coach, Al Coulter, said his players pushed the Cobras to the brink in the first set, but could not contend with Cochrane’s fierce serving in the following two. “The first set was amazing – our girls came out and caught Cochrane off guard,” he said. “It was back and forth and a lot of fun. “Cochrane didn’t play great – they missed eight serves. We took advantage, but didn’t quite get the win.” Considering the strength of the Cobras this year, Coulter said he was not ashamed by the defeat. “[Cochrane] is a loaded team and should win provincials – that’s how good they are,” he said. “They have very strong individuals, like Trinity Solecki. She plays on the provincial team and is a solid player. I think five other girls are all on Div. 1 club teams, so those are very strong players.” Another thing to consider, Coulter added, is that Cochrane and Springbank will likely play each other again at either the RVSA championship game Nov. 9 or at South Central Zones. “I knew we’d struggle, because it was the first time playing them this year,” he said. “You need to see a team a few times to learn how to beat them, and that’s what last night was about for us.” Springbank’s playoff run began in the quarter-finals Nov. 5 (after press time) against the 0-6 W.H. Croxford Cavaliers. The semi-finals will be Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. and the RVSA championship match is set for Nov. 9.

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