Tuesday, November 20, 2012

St. Michael's hosts 2A Volleyball Zones Championships

2012 2A Boys South Zone Volleyball Champions
Picture Butte Kings
F. van Zandwijk photo

Chris Davis with Toni Lucas and Frank van Zandwijk

The Dale Wentz Memorial Gymnasium at St. Michael's School was the site of the 2012 2A Boys Volleyball Zone Championships on November 16 and 17.  Six regional teams competed in a total of 11 games for the championship banner and the bragging rights that come with it.  Participating teams included St. Michael's Dragons, the Picture Butte Kings, the F.P. Walshe Flyers from Fort Macleod, the Immanuel Christian High School Eagles from Lethbridge, the Country Central High School Hawks from Vulcan, and the Crowsnest Consolidated High School Panthers.  The games were all best-of-three.

2012 St. Michael's Dragons
T. Lucas photo
Dragons vs Kings

For their first game of the tournament St. Michael's Dragons played the Crowsnest Pass Panthers.  These two teams are quite familiar with each other, and very evenly matched, but on this occasion the Dragons were in fine form, beating the Panthers in 2 sets by scores of 26-24 and 25-21. The Dragons were up against the Immanuel Christian Eagles next.  These two teams were also fairly evenly matched but the Eagles had the edge, defeating the Dragons in two sets by scores of 25-17 and 25-23, with that second set being a real nailbiter.  In the quarter finals the Dragons faced the Picture Butte Kings.  The Kings were an extremely strong team, winning in two sets by scores of 25-19 and 25-12, securing themselves a semi-final spot and ending the tournament for the Dragons.

Summing up the season Dragons Coach Tony Bruder said "I knew these guys had it in them to play.  I still say we played better in the middle of the season than we did at the end.  When we were up at Calgary... we didn't show what we can do today.  Not compared to Calgary.  At Rally Pointe we played in the final.  I'm going to say today we played about 80% of that.  We have another notch."  Coach Bruder was effusive in his praise of the Dragons team.  "They're such good guys to work with.  They're fun to be around, they're happy, they get along.  There's no bickering on the team.  It's just great.  I told them upstairs that I'm really proud of how they played this year and I'll stand by that.  I was proud to be their coach, proud to be part of their team."

CNP Panthers vs Dragons
C. Davis photo

The Crowsnest Pass Panthers were defeated by the Dragons in their first game of the tournament, as mentioned above.  They played the F.P. Walshe Flyers next, losing that one in two straight sets by the score of 25-19 in both sets.  The Panthers next faced the County Central Hawks, and also lost that game in two straight sets by scores of 25-13 and 25-15, going home empty handed from the tournament.  The Panthers are a good team, as we've seen over the course of the season, but they were up against some mighty strong competition.

Flyers vs Eagles
C. Davis photo
Flyers vs Eagles

One of the closest games leading up to the finals was the epic clash between the F.P. Walshe Flyers and the Immanuel Christian High School Eagles.  The Flyers won in two sets, and great sets they both were, with both teams neck and neck the whole way.  The Flyers won the first set 28-26 and the second set 27-25.

Championship Final: Picture Butte Kings vs F.P. Walshe Flyers

In the Championship Final Picture Butte and F.P. Walshe were as closely matched as two teams can be.  Picture Butte won the first set 26-24.  F.P. Walshe won the second set 25-21.  The third set went to Picture Butte 15-9, crowning them as the 2012 2A Boys Volleyball South Zone Champions.  The Picture Butte Kings came into the tournament ranked first in the league, and that's how they left.  Now they're off to Provincials.

Final Word

Coach Tony Bruder: "Thank you to all the parents and volunteers that make this be able to happen."

What's next?  Basketball!

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