Lightning senior men capture silver at 4A volleyball provincials
The Hunting Hills Lightning left it all on the floor at the 4A Alberta Schools Athletic Conference men’s volleyball provincials.
In the gold medal match Friday, the Lightning fell just short against the powerhouse William Aberhart squad and had to settle for silver.
Lightning head coach Blake Henwood said he was proud of the effort of his group to make it as far as they did at provincials.
“Battle would probably be the best word to describe it. We knew coming in that we had a group that we thought had a shot at medal if we played well,” said Henwood.
“To compete in the final against one of the most competitive high school teams that’s been around in a long time was a lot of fun. Super proud of the guys, they battled hard all week, we have nothing to hang our heads about, earning a silver medal.”
Hunting Hills had a wild day Saturday in the playoff round.
First up in the quarter-final, was a rematch of the Central zone final against the host Lindsay Thurber Raiders. The Lightning exacted some revenge after the Raiders won the best-of-three zone final just six days prior. Hunting Hills knocked of Thurber in two sets, 26-24, 25-22 to advance to the semifinal.
“They were excited. We felt like we didn’t give them our best game last week in our zone final. Especially on the first night when they beat us three straight. We were hoping at some point down the road we’d get another crack at them,” Henwood said.
“That was a little bittersweet for us and nice to have that opportunity to play them one more time.”
In the semis, it was another barn-burner. The Lightning needed three sets to knock off the top-ranked Strathcona squad. They trailed in the third set tie break but came back to win it 17-15 to punch their ticket to the final.
“Just super proud of the guys for putting up a performance like that,” Henwood said.
The silver medal-winning squad included Justin Rix, Boris Berbic, Kolton Rawlusyk, Mackenzie Bengtsson, Jaxon Waslowich, Beniah Giesbrecht, Connor Barber, Justin Berglund, Ethan Lemessurier, Blaise Elliot, Cole Sauders. Coaches were Blake Henwood, Parker Booth, Conall Mcintosh and Tanner Chapman.