May 21st, 2024

Coyotes girls grab JV gold

By Dale Woodard on November 9, 2021.

Simply put, the Chinook Coyotes junior varsity girls volleyball team peaked at the right time.

That penchant for good timing has earned the Coyotes the 2021 Southern Alberta High School Volleyball League championship following a 2-0 win over the Raymond Comets in the championship game Saturday afternoon at Chinook High School.

At the boys championship in Cardston, the Magrath Zeniths downed the Cardston Cougars in consecutive sets to take the gold.

After losing the 2020 season to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coyotes shrugged off any rust and put forth a gold medal performance when they needed it Saturday afternoon.

“We just had a year off from playing, the start was a little bit slow,” said Coyotes head coach Tammy Dorchak.

“But it was slow for everyone. So you could tell there were some gaps there in volleyball knowledge, play and skillset. So I was a little bit worried at the start. But that was for all the teams. So we had some work to do there and they worked hard from the very beginning. We focused a lot on passing and serving and the whole season progressively got better and they really peaked at the end at the right time. They played their hearts out and it was a well-deserved win for them.”

Fittingly, it was the Coyotes and Comets who faced each other in the finals as the two 9-1 teams squared off.

The sets were close, but the Coyotes found the edge in both, posting 25-22 and 25-21 decisions to clinch the championship.

“They’ve been our toughest competition all year and we go back and forth the entire time,” said Dorchak of the Comets.

“So it felt really good to beat them. We had kind of a slow start today, so we eventually picked it up. So that was nice.”

Coyotes Grade 11 power Brooklyn Gurney enjoyed the chance to face their rivals for the gold.

“It was a very fun game to play and it was a great effort by both teams,” she said. “I think both teams played their very best and I’m so proud of my team for coming out on top. It feels amazing. I’m speechless right now, it’s awesome.”

It was also a win on their home court for the Coyotes.

“In our home school, that’s just another great feeling, taking home gold,” said Gurney. “We’ve worked so hard all season and I think we truly do deserve this win.”

“Today we just focused on bringing good energy and we worried about having good communication,” added Dorchak. “We focused on that all day and I think that really helped us. They got excited for all their points and the energy was really high. That was the focus. I think that helped us today.”

In the boys junior varsity game, the Zeniths notched 25-21 and 25-15 set wins to capture the championship.

Both Magrath and Cardston went 7-1 in the regular season.

Cardston beat the Immanuel Christian Eagles 2-1 (18-25, 25-11, 15-10) in the semifinals, while Magrath blanked Medicine Hat 2-0 (25-11, 25-17) in the other semifinal.

The varsity boys and girls volleyball playoffs begin this week.

The boys start tonight as the Winston Churchill Griffins host Immanuel Christian at 7:30 p.m.

On Friday and Saturday, the games move to the Catholic Central West campus starting at 4:30 p.m. as the second-ranked Coyotes take on seventh-seeded Medicine Hat High School.

The top-ranked Magrath Zeniths will host the winner of tonight’s game against Winston Churchill and Immanuel Christian.

The boys gold medal game goes at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

The girls varsity volleyball play-in games go tonight.

The 12th ranked Picture Butte Sugar Queens are in Raymond to take on the fifth-seeded Comets at 7 p.m., while Immanuel Christian (11th) heads to Winston Churchill to face the sixth-ranked Griffins at 6 p.m.

The Taber W.R Myers Rebels (10th) are in Cardston to face the seventh-seeded Cougars at 7 p.m. and the Coaldale Kate Andrews Pride (ninth) is at LCI to play the Clippers (eighth). At 7 p.m.

The top-four teams following the play-ins will have a bye to the quarter-finals when the playoff portion takes the court Friday and Saturday at Magrath High School.

The quarter-final games go at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The gold medal game is slated for 3 p.m. Saturday.

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