Predators win gold at volleyball nationals

Published on Tuesday, 28 May 2024 10:04

The 17U Predators Volleyball Club are national champions after winning gold at Volleyball Canada’s national championships in Edmonton, last week.
It was a rough start to the tournament for the Grandview-based Predators as they lost their three opening matches, May 20.
After teams were re-pooled for day two, the Predators found their stride, winning all three matches to qualify for the Tier 8 playoffs.
In the quarterfinals, the Predators beat Fraser Valley Black of B.C., 25-27, 25-23 and 15-12 to advance to the semifinals, where they defeated the Stealth Stealth 17s of Saskatchewan, 25-22 and 25-17.
In the championship match, the Predators defeated the YYC Eagles from Alberta, 19-25, 25-20 and 15-11.
Predators coach Bryce Shewchuk said the girls were able to rebound from a tough opening day at the tournament.
“And came out firing on Wednesday for playoffs,” he added.
The goal entering nationals was simply to play well.
“You never know who you’re going to come up against. The way the new tier system works, just if someone has one bad day, you end up with some really strong teams in your pool, it gives a lot of opportunities to bounce back,” he said.
After finishing 10th at provincials, Shewchuk said the goal at nationals was to play well, play strong and finish ahead of a couple of other Manitoba teams that finished ahead of them at provincials.
Tough serves and a good defence were keys to the Predators success.
“We never quit on a ball. A lot of teams were already looking to celebrate before the ball had even hit the floor and our girls were still digging it up and returning it,” Shewchuk said.
Shewchuk is especially pleased for the three graduating players who will be leaving the team after this season.
“For them to be their high note to end their career and season on, I think it’s really huge for this group,” he said.
“This group is just a really strong group, with athletes from Grandview, Gilbert Plains, Roblin and one from Reston. With our three graduating athletes, they were just a really strong group led by them.”

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