The Sacred Heart Saints Jr. Boys volleyball team took part in the East Central District Championship this past weekend in Kamsack. The team had a very successful season up until this point, making the finals of every tournament they competed in. The Saints finished second in the Melville tournament, Second in the YRHS tournament, Second in their home tournament and first in the Langenburg tournament. The goal going into districts was to take home a medal, and the team was very hopeful for gold.
Sacred Heart started the round robin with a match against Langenburg. After a slow start in the first set, the boys settled down, and were able to come away with a straight sets win by scores of 25-18 and 25-19. Sacred Heart faced Melville in their next match. Despite some very strong and timely serving by the Melville Captain, the Saints were once again able to come away with a straight sets victory. The final round robin match for Sacred Heart saw them come up against Sturgis. Again, the Saints got off to a bit of a slow start, but the freight train got rolling and ran away with another two-set win. Their undefeated record put Sacred Heart in first place in their pool heading into the playoffs.
The first semi-final was an all Yorkton match up with the Saints taking on the Raiders from Yorkton Regional. Thanks to some strong serving and scrappy play, the trend of two-set victories continued for Sacred Heart. The second semi-final saw Esterhazy down Langenburg in three sets.
“We figured we’d see Esterhazy in the final this weekend. They have some amazing servers, and they never give up on a point. They are really tough to take points from,” said coach Chisholm. “We heard before the match that our girls soccer team had won provincial gold, and that our Jr. Girls volleyball team won district gold, so we really wanted to take home that third gold medal of the weekend for our school.”
The first set saw Sacred Heart leading for most of the way, before the Serving of Esterhazy put the Saints on their heels. Esterhazy won the first set by a score of 25-20. The second set was a different story altogether. Sacred Heart came out flying, and cruised to a 25-15 second set win. It all came down to a game to 15 for the district gold medal. The third set was a back and forth affair. Sacred Heart got down 6-2, before clawing back and finally taking a late lead at 14-12. The no-quit attitude of Esterhazy proved its worth. They won the next point on a block to make it 14-13, and sent their top server to the line. He came through in the clutch with three straight rockets, and Esterhazy came away with a 16-14 victory to claim the gold medal.
“I felt that Esterhazy were a great team and they deserved the gold,” said Chisholm. “We made too many mistakes in that last set. The loss hurts, but the boys came a long way this year, and overall, I was proud of their effort.”