Lindsay Thurber Raiders middle Josh Fuerbringer hits a ball past Ryan Mulder in Central Alberta Schools Athletic Association play on Tuesday. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Raiders, Cougars advance to zone finals

Both senior boys and girls to start CASAA zone final Thursday

The Lindsay Thurber Raiders senior boys rolled to a three-set sweep over the Hunting Hills Lightning in the Central Alberta Schools Athletic Association zone semifinal Tuesday.

The win (25-16, 25-21, 25-14) was relatively efficient for the Raiders, with only a bit of trouble in the second set. Head coach Terence McMullen said while he was happy with the win, he knows his team has more to give.

“We did what we needed to do. I thought we lacked some discipline at times. We didn’t take things as seriously as we should have,” McMullen. “Thought they did a pretty good job playing a game that they were expected to win.”

They’ll play in the CASAA zone final Thursday night at Notre Dame.

The Cougars topped the Lacombe Rams in four sets (25-18, 16-25, 25-14, 25-18) to earn their berth in the final.

It was a nail-biter in the senior girls semifinal between the Notre Dame Cougars and the Hunting Hills Lightning.

Notre Dame entered the game as the fourth ranked 4A school in the province, but were pushed to five sets (24-26, 25-20, 27-29, 25-19, 15-9) by a scrappy and defensively strong Lightning squad.

“I knew that Hunting Hills had improved a lot watching them through the season. We haven’t played them when they played their best,” said Notre Dame Cougars coach Dana Woroniuk. “I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I honestly wasn’t expecting it to be such a battle. I told the girls to expect a battle and that’s what it was.”

Notre Dame was led by Jade Bussard who was their go-to weapon in the win, but also got contributions from co-captain Sarah Scrase.

“The biggest thing we learned was that we need to go in hard all the time and fight for every point and not take anything lightly,” Scrase said about the five-set win.

Notre Dame will host the Lindsay Thurber Raiders in the CASAA zone final Thursday and the three game series will shift to LTCHS Friday.

The Raiders cruised to a three set victory (25-12, 25-13, 15-14) over the Lacombe Rams in the other semifinal.

Head coach Kirsten DeZutter was happy with the effort of her team and knows an exciting challenge looms Thursday.

“I was really pleased. I thought for the most part it was a consistent effort from everyone. We talked about focusing on this game and this is the job we have to do. I was pleased with how everyone stepped up,” she said.

Finals action gets underway Thursday at Notre Dame at 6 p.m.



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