The Boyle senior Huskies’ amazing run to the final of the 1A senior volleyball provincials, Nov. 26-27, wasn’t just an impressive story on its own. The silver medal finish was also the highest placing by any Boyle senior volleyball team in the school’s history.
“It was a very proud moment for our team,” exclaimed Michelle Lazenby, head coach of the Huskies.
Realistically, Lazenby only expected her team to gain some important experience against some of the best 1A senior girl’s volleyball teams in the province.
“It was beyond our expectations. We were hoping to win one, maybe two matches,” explained Lazenby.
In the end, just five points separated the Huskies from a provincial championship.
The second-place finish was something that seemed unfathomable before the start of the tournament.
“We went there to win one match, but we found ourselves tops in our pool by the end of the round robin,” added Lazenby.
The success the Huskies experienced at provincials didn’t happen by luck, either. In four of their six matches, the outcome was decided by a slim margin in the third set.
Impressively, the Huskies’ largest margin of defeat came at the hands of the H.A. Kostash Eagles in the last match of round-robin play, where the Eagles defeated the Huskies 25-13. The Huskies exacted their revenge on the Eagles in the semi-finals, winning two of three sets to take the match.
Although the younger team did experience nerves when it came down to crunch time, the Huskies continued to play a strong game, said Lazenby.
“The girls showed up on the court and played with heart. The skills, that comes from practice, but showing up and having the heart to play is another thing,” stated Lazenby.
The Huskies could have given up in the finals on the evening of Nov. 27 after playing five matches in less than two days and losing the first set to their first-place counterparts from Taber, but they refused to.
“I had 10 girls who played amazing. Their biggest strength over that weekend was learning not to be complacent,” said Lazenby.
The Huskies came back and won the second set 25-20, forcing the all-or-nothing third set.
The term ‘pressure cooker’ couldn’t have applied more to what the Huskies faced going into the third set, but instead of playing not to lose, they played to win.
“We tried to tell them to keep the confidence up to their heart and not let it get to their heads. They went out there and stayed calm,” noted Lazenby.
The girls did just that, and the 2010 provincials’ Cinderella team almost completed a miracle.
“The girls learned to hammer the ball every chance they got. We weren’t going to win it by tipping the ball over the net,” she exclaimed.
With the volleyball season over, the Huskies’ season can only be described as an overwhelming success.
Departing this year’s team are only two Grade 12s, which leaves a core group of Grade 11 girls who helped put this year’s team on the map.
The experience they gained this year could mean endless possibilities next year.
But nothing is guaranteed in sports.
“It’s very, very promising. We’re pretty positive we can make it again to provincials and it shouldn’t be out of reach by any means,” said Lazenby.
The Huskies magical run to the final began with a 2-0 match win over the St. Thomas More Kodiaks, followed by a 2-1 match win over the hosts from Bassano.
The winning continued into their third game of the round robin with another close 2-1 win over the Clearwater Academy Crusaders.
After a loss to the Eagles, the Huskies found themselves first in their pool.
They eventually met up with those same Eagles in the semi-finals and Boyle was able to squeak by.
The win pushed the Huskies into the finals against the St. Mary Auroras.
The Auroras ended up winning the match in three sets, taking the final set 15-10.