LETHBRIDGE — It was a rare day at the provincial high school 4A girls’ volleyball championships Saturday.
For the first time in a decade a team from Red Deer didn’t finish in the medals.
The Lindsay Thurber Raiders started the run with a third-place finish in 2000-01, then won four gold, including a record three in a row, and three silver over the next seven years. Last season, the Notre Dame Cougars took third place.
The Raiders came the closest to keeping the streak alive this season, but lost to eventual gold-medal winning Harry Ainlay of Edmonton in the semifinals and then were beaten by Dr. E.P. Scarlett of Calgary in the bronze medal contest.
Meanwhile, the Cougars, who lost to the Raiders in the quarter-finals, took sixth as they downed Grande Prairie, then lost to Lethbridge Collegiate Institute in the fifth-place match.
Harry Ainlay won the title over William Aberhart of Calgary.
On the boys’ side the Central zone champion Hunting Hills Lightning finished sixth while the LTCHS Raiders were 12th. The Lightning started the round-of-16 playoff in style by downing Catholic Central of Lethbridge, but lost to Calgary’s Bishop Carroll to drop into the playoff for fifth place.
They beat Calgary Western Canada, but lost to Edmonton McNally.
The Raiders lost to Western Canada in the first round of playoffs. They beat Lloydminster in the quarter-finals for the battle for ninth-place, but lost to Salisbury of Sherwood Park and then Foothills from Okotoks for 11th spot.
Grande Prairie downed LCI to take the boys’ championship.
* CANMORE — The H.J. Cody Lakers of Sylvan Lake placed fourth in the girls’ 3A championships Saturday.
The Lakers, who were second in their pool, downed Barrhead 25-15, 25-9 in the A-side quarter-finals before losing 25-16, 24-26, 12-15 to St. Joseph’s of Grande Prairie. They then dropped a 17-25, 19-25 decision to Beaverlodge in the third-place match.
St. Joe’s went on to down Brooks 17-25, 25-22, 15-12 in the final.
* SPRUCE GROVE — The Barrhead Gryphons beat St. Joe’s 23-25, 25-17, 15-10 in the final of the boys’ 3A championships.
Central zone champion Camrose lost in the quarter-finals to St. Joe’s.
Central Alberta Christian High School of Lacombe finished with a 0-5 record in pool action and missed the playoffs.
* ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE — J.H. Picard of Calgary and Spirit River shared glory at the 2A provincials, hosted by St. Dominic High School.
Picard won the boys’ title, beating Senator Gershaw of Bow Valley 25-23, 25-19.
Spirit River downed Strathcona-Tweedsmuir 26-24, 26-28, 15-11 in the girls’ final.
All Central Alberta teams missed the playoffs.
Bawlf finished at 2-3 in both divisions while the host St. Dominic Huskies were 1-4 in boys’ play and 0-5 on the girls’ side.
* CORONATION — The host Coronation Saints took second in the 1A boys’ championships, losing 22-25, 25-19, 14-16 to Foremost in the final.
The Saints beat St. Mary’s 25-15, 25-19 in the quarter-finals and Mallaig 25-22, 25-22 in the semifinals.
Foremost downed Olds Koinonia 25-8, 25-14 in the semifinals. Olds, who downed Parkland Immanuel of Lethbridge 25-18, 27-25 in the quarter-finals, lost 16-25, 25-23, 12-15 to Mallaig in third-place match.
Olds edged Bentley in their final round-robin match to finish third in the pool and earn a playoff berth.
* CAROLINE — Standard downed Taber 25-23, 25-18 in the 1A girls’ final.
Standard downed Caroline 25-15, 25-13 in the semifinals after Caroline stopped Vermilion 25-22, 15-25, 15-11 in the quarter-finals.
Taber reached the final with a 25-23, 22-25, 15-13 victory over St. Thomas Aquinas of Provost.