After both teams earned a bye straight into the final last season in senior high school volleyball, the Porter Creek Secondary School Rams had to fight in semifinal action to make it back — and both teams proved up to the task.
Both the girl’s and boy’s teams booked their return ticket to the Super Volley final tonight winning their respective semis at F.H. Collins Secondary School Monday evening.
For the girl’s team, their semifinal win sets up a highly-anticipated rematch against the undefeated Warriors from F.H. Collins.
The girl’s team, after coming off two straight losses last week at home, took the early lead against the Vanier Catholic Secondary School Crusaders taking the first set 25-21.
But the Crusaders who played close games all season long stayed with the Rams and took the second set 25-20.
Rams head coaches Amy Dawe and Kim Hickman said after losing the first set they let the players have their own meeting and regroup.
“When they’re able to take a moment and take a breath and reset and help each other out and talk about it themselves, we find that always brings them together and turns it around,” Dawe said following the four-set match.
And it most definitely helped as the Rams came storming out in the third set thanks to stellar defence and powerful hits from Kendra Peters, who was named player of the game for the Rams.
They closed out the third and fourth sets 25-12 to book a spot in the final — a rematch from last year’s final loss against the Warriors.
The Rams are also 0-3 against the Warriors so far this season and the coaches said they are ready to get some revenge.
“We did a lot of things in Sunday’s practice that we hope prepped us for tomorrow,” Hickman said. “We did some F.H. specific drills.”
The Warriors are heading into the game undefeated this season continuing from their triple crown year in 2016 winning the Dawson Invitational, Super Volley, and the Yukon Championships.
They already have one of those titles ticked off this year winning the Dawson Invitational in October — beating the Rams in the final.
“They have to be on their heels now cause we’re coming. We’ve gotten some sets on them, we just haven’t been quite able to finish it, but we’re coming,” Dawe said heading into the final. “Every time it’s been a bit of an improvement so we’re expecting more tomorrow.”
Game time is set for 5 p.m.
On the boy’s side, the semifinal was a rematch of last season’s Super Volley title game with the Rams taking on the Warriors.
The defending-champion Rams took the match in three hard-fought sets, with the third set seeing back and forth action as the Warriors season was on the line.
In the third set, the Rams were running away up 9-4 and already up two sets, when the Warriors came roaring back, which got their home crowd back into the game and forced a Rams timeout.
Down 16-15, Porter Creek took control with a strong service game to win in straight sets 25-21, 25-15, 25-20.
Rams head coach Derick Bilodeau said the team made unforced errors particularly in the first set they can’t afford to make in the final tonight against the Crusaders.
“We just need to clean things up on our side of the court,” he said following the game. “A lot of their points were scored on us making mistakes. We need to make sure tomorrow when we play Vanier we don’t make those errors and give them those free points.”
The two teams have both taken wins against each other this season. The Crusaders have won both Super Volley matches, but the Rams won the Dawson Invitational Tournament and are looking for their second-straight title tonight.
“We know that we can beat them cause we beat them before so we just got to play consistently on our side and play our best game,” Bilodeau said. “Then if they bring their best game I think it’d be a great volleyball match.”