Players Leave It All On The Court At Provincial Championship
While there was only two overall winners this past weekend at the Provincial Championships at Prairie College in Three Hills, Alberta, all of the student-athletes who participated in the final tournament of the year battled hard to represent their institutions and individual teams. Coming into the weekend, the top teams from the regular season in the Men’s and Women’s divisions were Millar Edge and Great Plains SunDogs respectively. Ultimately it was the Briercrest Clippers Men’s team and Great Plains SunDogs Ladies who were crowned the 2018 PAC Volleyball Champions.
The men’s draw saw second ranked Briercrest Clippers facing off against the expansion team of Burman Bobcats who finished the season in third place. This Friday afternoon game was short lived for Burman as the offensive powerhouse of Briercrest won in straight sets 25-23 / 25-18 / 25-13. The other game on the men’s side of tournament saw the undefeated Millar Edge versing the host Prairie Pilots. This too was a quick victory for the top ranked Millar guys, defeating the Pilots 25-16 / 25-18 / 25-15. The Saturday match-ups were set with Briercrest and Millar playing the Championship and Burman and Prairie playing in the Consolation game.
For the ladies, the first match saw fourth place Briercrest and fifth place Prairie fighting for a chance to continue on in the Championships; winner continues on and the loser is sent home packing. Initially it was the Clippers who dominated however the Pilots ladies were boosted by a big home crowd. This back-and-forth event eventually ended with Briercrest victorious in five sets: 25-12 / 25-23 / 20-25 / 25-22 / 15-10. Briercrest went on to play the top ranked Great Plains SunDogs, who easily walked over the tired Clippers team, 25-14 / 25-15 / 25-14. Great Plains was off to the Championship game and Briercrest to the Consolation finals. The second/third place game saw the newcomer, Burman Bobcats, playing against the always competitive Millar Edge. The Bobcats made quick work of the Edge, defeating them in straight sets, 25-11 / 25-21 / 25-20. All of the match-ups for Saturday’s finals had now been set.
Saturday morning saw some new events added to the Championships schedules. Firstly there was a Coaches Panel where each team’s coaches were asked a variety of questions ranging from coaching philosophies to questions about their institutions programs. Following this there was a Coaches Game. Again all the team’s coaches split into two teams for a friendly game while their student-athletes cheered and jeered them on. Luckily no coaches were injured in the game however there was some sore bodies the next day.
For the Championship games, it was the SunDogs from Great Plains College and the Bobcats from Burman University in the Women’s game. This was the longest game of the weekend and did not disappoint as both teams gave it their all. The emotional end saw Great Plains College SunDogs hoisting the Championships banner for the first time in the school’s history. The scores from each set were: 26-25 / 17-25 / 25-16 / 23-25 / 16-14.The women’s Consolation final had Millar Edge defeating Briercrest Clippers 27-25 / 26-24 / 25-19.
The Consolation game for the men’s side had Burman facing off against Prairie Pilots. Burman was swift in their delivery, beating the Pilots 25-14 / 25-18 / 25-19. In the men’s Championship game there was a turning of the tides as the undefeated Millar Edge succumbed to Briercrest’s relentlessness. The Clipper’s handed Millar their only loss of the season which unfortunately was a big one, losing in straight sets. The scores were: 25-23 / 25-18 / 25-19.