A strong season stopped short
The Westpark Royals varsity boy's volleyball team won the Zone 4A championship this season. They're provincial run ended in the quarterfinal. (file photo/The Graphic)
A long season ends in Brandon.
Westpark’s varsity boys volleyball team’s provincial championship run came to an end Saturday morning in Brandon when the Royals lost in straight sets to St. Paul’s in their quarterfinal playoff match.
“Losing in the quarterfinal was not something any of us envisioned heading into provincials,” says Royals head coach, Merrill Friesen. “We believed we were a contender for the title and had a very good round robin. The hardest thing about falling short was that 6 of our 9 players are in grade 12.”
The Royals started the tournament with a straight-sets victory over Rossburn. The boys then followed that with another win over Joseph H. Kerr Tigers in straight sets as well to finish day one. Friday saw the Royals go 1-1 after taking out the Elton Sabres in straight sets in the morning, then falling to top-seeded Hamiota in the afternoon.
The Royals 3-1 record was good enough to grant them a spot in the quarterfinal playoff Saturday morning where they ended up falling in straight sets to St. Paul’s. The Royals didn’t go down without a fight losing 27-25 in the first set and 25-23 in the second.
“If we were to dwell on the negative, we would fail to see all the positives of a very successful season,” says Friesen. “The boys had a great attitude in how they interacted with each other, the opposition and how they respected the officials. They worked hard in practice to improve their skills and it showed on the court.”
Friesen adds with six Grade 12 players on the team leaving he’s not sure if they’ll have a volleyball team next season.