The Central Alberta Queens 16U volleyball club is set to compete against the best teams in Canada on the May long weekend.
The Queens won the U16 division I provincial title last weekend in Edmonton to earn their spot at nationals later this month.
Head coach Geoff Trentham said it was an up and down ride for his team at provincials.
“Incredibly proud of every one of them on the team. It took a collective effort to get to where we got to,” said Trentham.
“These girls have worked hard for a number of years and they’re all very passionate about volleyball and very good friends which I think goes a long way. There are a lot of good relationships in this group.”
To start the weekend, the Queens opened with a win before faltering with two pool play losses. That had them fourth in the power pool and they won their crossover game Saturday evening. In the quarterfinal Sunday, they knocked off NAVC in a tight three-set match.
“That was probably the best game of the tournament. Super tight, really good defensive match,” Trentham said.
The Queens then knocked off the Dinos out of Calgary in the semis. In the final, they beat the Pandas to earn gold.
Reid Adams and Andrea Breaban of the Queens were also named all-stars at the event.
Earlier this season, the Queens won gold at Premier tournaments 1 and 2, with a bronze at the Premier 3 before the provincial event. Trentham said the group had its sights set on a provincial title, now they must quickly regroup and get prepared to face the best that Canada has to offer later this month in Edmonton.
“We’re practicing with a new goal in mind. We’ve been lucky to complete many of the goals we’ve set up for ourselves so far. Back into the gym to practice and lean towards having a good solid tournament at nationals. Coming out and playing as well as we did, if not better than we did at provincials,” Trentham added.
“Provincials is always kind of a big one for us and for this team. Nationals is definitely an added bonus, to go and compete against people from the rest of the country. We’d like to go and represent Red Deer well and make sure we’re doing our part to compete.”
The Queens roster includes Avery Sim, Reid Adams, Finley Welch, Jordana Woroniuk, Andrea Breaban, Jayna Thulien, Avyn Litwinski, Haven Pendle, Macie Bennik, Jorgia Hicks, Lauren Bichel, Saige Rawlusyk. The head coach is Geoff Trentham, and the assistant coaches are Kendal and Kirsten Sorensen.