Lindsay Thurber Raiders Kira Weddell and Chenee Lehman combine for a block on a Hunting Hills Lightning player on Wednesday in Central Alberta High School volleyball preseason play at Lindsay Thurber. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Lindsay Thurber Raiders senior girls chase another provincial title

The defending Alberta Provincial 4A volleyball champions have their eyes on another title in 2018.

The Lindsay Thurber Raiders senior girls wrapped up another Central Alberta High School Volleyball preseason league victory (25-16, 25-17, 25-15, 25-23) Wednesday night over the Hunting Hills Lightning, but there focus is firmly on the future.

“We’re just hoping to keep improving and keep working hard. We want to be there in the end. We’re striving to be number one, that’s our goal,” said Raiders head coach Kirsten Dezutter.

They’ve won two tournaments in the first month of the volleyball season and also had a second place finish. Their last win on the Thanksgiving weekend in Spruce Grove is helping Dezutter believe they’re starting to round into form at the right time.

“I’m really pleased. We’re going to battle with Hunting Hills, Notre Dame and Lacombe through the season. We came off a really big win in Spruce Grove,” she said.

“We were riding the high of the win but you want to make sure you’re focused and focused on the right thing heading into your next match. I wanted to make sure we came out competitive and came out strong. I was pleased with our mindset overall. “

Setter Hayley Lalor graduated but the Raiders replaced her with another Lalor, Jamie now guides the offence as the setter.

“Our goal is to make it back to provincials and compete. Every day we come to practice, we know what the job is and we have to get it done. Every time we go on the floor we have to play our best,” Jamie said.

“With the new girls on our team, they’re really bonding well with us. Getting the flow together really helps. The team dynamic is different this year, but it’s going well right now.”

Riley de Wit, Kira Weddell and Cheene Lehman will guide the potent offence this season. Each of their starting six this season, including libero Edyn Aasman played a factor last year in the provincial championship.

“It’s just awesome that they can share their experience. Honestly, it’s invaluable,” Dezutter added.

“I can’t comment enough about how important it is to have had that experience. How the veterans are able to embrace the new players learn the ropes and I just love how we’re functioning as a team.”

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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