CORNWALL – Two clubs from the Red Rock Volleyball Club had strong showings in their respective divisions at the Volleyball Canada national championships recently.
The 17-under and 15-under teams both posted identical overall records of 6-2 (won-lost), and advanced to the playoffs.
“We are very happy with how things went in Edmonton,” said Red Rock 17-under co-coaches Lynn Boudreau and Randy Goodman. “We are very pleased with the results Red Rock put up.”
Laura Ready, head coach of the Red Rock 15-under team, added: “It was amazing. We were very proud as coaches to see our girls play like that. They really left everything out on the court. We prepared well all season, but we didn’t expect that kind of success at a national level. It was fantastic to watch, and it was great volleyball.”
In 17-under play, Red Rock went 3-0 and did not lose a set in the preliminary round. They also had a record of 3-0 in power pools – the beginning of tiering teams – while winning six sets and dropping two.
“When we left the gym Monday night with a berth in the semifinals of Division 3 Tier 1, it was above our expectation coming into the tournament,” beamed Boudreau. “Then you begin to think about what is possible.”
Boudreau admitted Red Rock “just ran out of gas” as they dropped both of their playoff matches.
“We played OK in the first semifinal set, but in the second they just did not miss, and we made errors,” explained Boudreau. “We had five minutes and hopped right into the bronze-medal match. We scrapped out the first-set win 27-25, and lost the second 25-13. After being down 8-2 in the third (set), found a burst of energy to battle to a 15-13 loss to the Alliance from Winnipeg, Man.”
This is the first year of the Red Rock club, which has a goal of having every player in its program go on to play college or university volleyball. Boudreau and Goodman were delighted with the team’s progress, and fourth-place finish in their division.
“For having not made a single semifinal in any tournament we played this year, this was exceptional and proved how the players had improved,” noted Boudreau. “We’re already looking forward to next year.”
The Red Rock 15-under club also posted a 3-0 record in the preliminary round, went 2-1 in the power pools and had a 1-1 resumé in the playoffs. Not bad for a team that was competing against competition from outside the Atlantic provinces for the first time.
“We were really excited to post such a strong finish, especially since we are a first-year club,” explained Ready. “That was big for us. Going in with no national experience before that, and to post such strong results, made our coaching staff proud.”
Red Rock’s lone loss in the power pools was decided by a 15-13 score in the third and deciding set. Red Rock bounced back from that loss to win its first playoff match in three sets, after losing the second set 25-9, and then lost in a quarter-final match to eventual bronze-medallists Dynamo Grey of Manitoba.
“Our biggest thing was we were in Division 3 and after the power pools we stayed in Tier 1, which was great and was our goal,” added Ready, who credited great on-court communication and leadership as keys to success.
“These girls have been playing together since December, and they have been training hard all year,” Ready went on to say. “They were very prepared for this, and we had lots of regional competition, so we actually had four tournaments in the Atlantic provinces before we left. There was a lot of experience gained from those (tournaments).”