Trojans off to provincials
Camrose Composite High School Trojans Sydney Leslie goes up for an attack against Morinville during the CCHS home tournament in Camrose, Alta. on Saturday November 4, 2017. CCHS won 2-0 en route to a semifinal finish. Josh Aldrich/Camrose Canadian/Postmedia Network
The Camrose Composite High School Trojans are heading back to high school girls’ volleyball provincials.
The Trojans earned silver at zones at H.J. Cody School in Sylvan Lake on Saturday, and will receive the zone’s second birth as the H.J. Cody Lakers won zones gold and are also hosting 3A girl’s provincials.
“We got a taste of provincials last year and understand it’s a bigger tournament and bit more special of a tournament,” said Trojans head coach Graeme Thain, whose team lost 2-0 to H.J. Cody in the zone final. “There’s only 12 teams out of 70-odd teams in the province playing so it’s a special class. They worked hard the last few months and they deserve to get there.
The Trojans set themselves up for a successful tournament with a tight 2-1 win over arch rival Wetaskiwin in the first game. They followed that up with a win over Stettler to finish first in their pool and then beat Ponoka in the semifinal. When H.J. Cody beat Wetaskiwin in the other semifinal, it locked up a spot in the Alberta School Athletic Association championship tournament that starts today in Sylvan Lake.
“We just ran out of gas, it was a pretty stressful day for them,” said Thain. “Once that first game was over, it was just grind, grind, grind until we got to the final and we were done by then.”
The Trojans have played well down the stretch heading into playdowns, including making it to the semifinals of their own tournament a couple of weeks ago.
They have a well-rounded group of players with the experience of playing in provincials last year on home court. There they finished fourth in their pool, missing out on the playoff portion, something they are hoping to advance to this year.
“The goal is to try to finish top three in our pool and then see what happens after that,” said Thain.
They are familiar with most of the teams that are in their pool at provincials, having played four of the five teams with wins over two of them. They scored victories over Peace Wapiti and Barrhead, while they have had close matches with Lethbridge Collegiate Institute and St. Paul. The only school they have not played is Cochrane.
Though provincials are a bigger tournament than zones with stiffer competition, it will not be as much of a grind. Instead of four matches crammed into one day, the tournament starts on Thursday and does not wrap until the weekend.
“This is a much more relaxing tournament in that sense,” said Thain. “There’s more time in between games where we can rest, relax and prepare for the next one.”
• The CCHS boys also made it to the zone final and lost to H.J. Cody. However, because provincials for the 3A boys are in Strathmore, there was no extra birth for the zone.