The senior boys’ volleyball program at Yorkton Regional High School is in the middle of a revival. The growth in the sport at the school is shown in their results, as the team took first place in their home tournament for the first time in years on Nov. 3.
While coach Dion Pfeifer admits that the young team did have nerves to overcome as they started the tournament, over the two-day tournament they got their game together and took on some of the best teams in the province in the ten team tournament.
After finishing second in round robin play, the team met Melville in the quarter final game. After taking down the Highway 10 rivals they went on to best Weyburn in the semi-finals, which lead them to meet Swift Current. That team is ranked at the top of the province, Pfeifer said, and it was a close match, going three sets before Yorkton finally emerged victorious.
“Kids were a little nervous, but we pulled through at the end.”
The competition through the weekend was tough, Pfeifer said, with many of the team’s games going to three sets, but the team came back to win when it counted.
“It means a lot. We battled hard. We played well our year, placing in the top four in tournaments, but to win our home tournament, it’s probably been eight or nine years since we won our home tournament, so it’s a really big confidence booster for us.”
The team plans on using the momentum from the successful home tournament as they prepare for 5A Southern Regionals in Weyburn this weekend. The team needs to place in the top three in the tournament to make it into provincials, something Pfeifer is confident they can do.
“That’s the best we’ve played all year, so hopefully that continues.”
In preparing for the next tournament, the team will focus on passing and serving. Pfeifer said that when they’re passing and serving well, they win, but if they don’t, that’s when they have to fight back.
This is also a good sign for the volleyball program in the next school year as well. Unlike many of the teams they faced, the Raiders only had one Grade 12 student on the squad, so next year’s team is going to be largely the same. Pfeifer said that the younger players coming up through the school are also very talented, so while this is the first time in a long time they won their home tournament, he expects it will not be the last.
“The future looks very good.”