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SHOWING OFF THE HARDWARE – The Subzero Volleyball Club 14U Boys team poses with their Tier 4 Division 1 Silver medals during the Volleyball Canada National Volleyball tournament in Edmonton over the weekend. Photo submitted by CAROLINE HOLWAY

Boys, girls teams represent Yukon at Nationals

The Yukon was represented by the Subzero 14U Boys and 15U Girls at the Volleyball Canada Nationals tournament at the Saville Community Centre in Edmonton on the weekend. The three-day event saw over 1,000 athletes.

By John Tonin on May 17, 2019

The Yukon was represented by the Subzero 14U Boys and 15U Girls at the Volleyball Canada Nationals tournament at the Saville Community Centre in Edmonton on the weekend. The three-day event saw over 1,000 athletes.

In all, there were 23 courts of consistent volleyball action. A coaches’ report read, that “with the whistles blowing, cheering, and lots of volleyball action the atmosphere was exciting to play in for Yukon athletes.”

The coaches present were impressed by Volleyball Canada’s ability to bring different skill levels under one roof while being able to recognize and celebrate performance success at each level.

The boys team earned a silver medal in Tier 4, Division 1 play. The girls finished in fifth place in Tier 3, Division 4.

The girls competed against teams from Alberta, B.C., Quebec, and Ontario in their first out-of-territory tournament of the season.

Coaches Lindy Dunlop and Gary Seeley said in the report that they were impressed by the girls’ “improvement from day one to day three in mental and physical performance.”

According to the report the girls’ best game came against Ontario. After the match the Ontario coach was impressed by the level of talent of the Yukon side and said their game was comparable to the two 15U girls teams in their 149 club.

Last year the girls medalled at Nationals and were disappointed they did not medal again.

However, they still showed positive signs of improvement.

“They were encouraged to take six of seven matches to three sets in the best of three games,” read the report. “The girls hope to get more experience in out-of-territory tournaments next year and to continue to build on the talent of this group.”

Dunlop was a proud coach throughout the tournament.

“The girls practiced hard for four months and bonded and supported each other along the way which is all I could ask for,” she said.

Captain Jennifer Tuton said the team showed good camaraderie on the court.

“We had so much fun supporting each other during the games,” she said.

For both teams some of the highlights from the weekend were meeting other players from across Canada.

The boys’ team was made up of mostly Grade 7/8 players. During their school season, they were playing with triple ball rules but at Nationals, they were able to effectively run a 5-1 offensive system.

Coach Caroline Holway said the team had plenty of fan support.

“There was lots of enthusiasm and everyone was trying their best,” said Holway. “Having parents, grandparents, and the girls’ team cheering for the 14U Boys really helped them win important games on the second and third days of competition.”

The boys showed good fight coming back from 14-20 and 13-22 down against St. Albert and Sturgeon Country.

“I encourage the boys to take risks and see errors as opportunities,” said Holway. “The boys did a great job of staying in the moment. One thing that was impressive is how the boys could execute a plan after a timeout and change the momentum of the game when they needed too.”

Captain Sebastian Tajonero said the matches were highly contested.

“The courts were top-notch and the games were intense,” said Tajonero. “My teammates were nice and they were a good support.”

Coaches from other provinces took notice of how the Yukon athletes were playing.

After their team lost to the 14U Boys, the SAS Blue coach said his team couldn’t handle about three of the boys’ serves after their loss.

Holway and fellow coach Frank Oblak also noted three other coaches approached them and acknowledged how well the Subzero boys played and how they really seemed to enjoy playing. As well, they mentioned how much the team improved over the weekend.

Some of the Subzero boys’ opponents had players that were almost two years older than about half the team because of the Volleyball Canada 16-month window for each age group.

The girls and the boys’ teams had players from a number of schools across Whitehorse.

The four coaches acknowledged that it was neat to have athletes from various schools representing Subzero and Volleyball Yukon at Nationals.

Comments (2)

Up 1 Down 2

Allen Dunlop on May 18, 2019 at 6:15 pm

Great performances both girls and boys! So competitive in every match! Jennifer and Chayce Tuton were stars!

Up 0 Down 2

Allen Dunlop on May 18, 2019 at 6:11 pm

Great performances both girls and boys! ‘Way to go Chayce and Jennifer Tuton you were stars!'

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