Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

The little school that could

Neelin pulls off a shocker, beating MBCI for girls' title

  • Print

The small school won the big prize at the 2012 Boston Pizza AAAA Provincial High School Volleyball Championship on Monday night at the University of Winnipeg Duckworth Centre.

The Neelin Spartans varsity girls volleyball team won the first-ever AAAA provincial title for the Brandon school, defeating the Mennonite Brethren Hawks 18-25, 25-12, 25-23, 25-20 before a packed house.

The Spartans, usually a AAA school based on population, found a way to make the unusual usual in the championship match as setter Amy Gordon was also her team's top attacker in the final with seven kills and five service aces. She was named the tournament's most valuable player.

"This is just the best thing that has ever happened to our team. Coming in as a three-A school, no one really expected us to win or even put up a fight," said Gordon, one of 10 players in Grade 11 on the team. The core group of Grade 11 players won a AAA junior varsity provincial championship when they were in Grade 9. There were three Grade 10 players on the team and no Grade 12s.

"We all knew what we had to do and we came and we did it."

What the Spartans did was stay calm after losing the first set, regroup and then blast their way back into the match in the second set.

"We were a bit worried (after the first-set loss), but we knew we had to put that game behind us and focus on the next games," said Neelin right-side Tara van den Ham. "It means a lot to our team and our school to win this. We fought really hard and we had great coaches to get us here."

In the pivotal third set, Gordon had back-to-back service aces to give the Spartans a five-point lead. But the Hawks, led by kills from left-side Kalena Schulz, battled back to within one point three times late in the set. Neelin's middle attack, anchored by Alison Quiring, could not be blocked or stopped and the Spartans went into the fourth set with plenty of momentum.

"All we could do today was come out with the best we had and have fun, and that's what we did," said MBCI captain Laura Klassen. "Neelin played great and that was a great match for us."

Neelin head coach Kevin Neufeld, in his third season with the Spartans team, moved his team to the AAAA level this season based on the talent level on the team.

"It just means a lot to our kids to have an opportunity to play at that level, and to be the No. 1 team in the province is a reward for their hard work," said Neufeld. "We set a goal to get in the top four here a couple of years ago when this group came together. We've got 250 practices as a group over the last two-and-a-half years and they've worked really hard."

In addition to Schulz's leading 15 kills for MBCI, Shayna Staerk had 11 kills. Players of the match were Staerk for MBCI and Neelin's Paige Thomson and the tournament's Players' Choice Award winner was Emily McPherson from the St. Mary's Flames.

Named to the tournament all-star team were: Laura McManes of the Glenlawn Lions, Brianna Solberg of the Miles Macdonell Buckeyes, Neelin's Kristine Ward and Alison Quiring and MBCI's Kalena Schulz and Katie Friesen.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

Provincial Championships

Last Saturday

 

AAA

Boys: Gabrielle-Roy (Iles des Chenes)

Girls: Linden Christian Wings

 

AA

Boys: Niverville Panthers

Girls: Major Pratt Trojans

 

A

Boys: Rosenort Red Hawks

Girls: Nellie McClung Stingers (Manitou)

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 27, 2012 D1

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Cheapskate: Preparing for Boxing Day

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Water lilys are reflected in the pond at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden Tuesday afternoon. Standup photo. Sept 11,  2012 (Ruth Bonneville/Winnipeg Free Press)
  • KEN GIGLIOTTI  WINNIPEG FREE PRESS / July 23 2009 - 090723 - Bart Kives story - Harry Lazarenko Annual River Bank Tour - receding water from summer rains and erosion  damage by flood  and ice  during spring flooding -  Red River , Lyndale Dr. damage to tree roots , river bank damage  , high water marks after 2009 Flood - POY

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who would you like to see the Bombers hire as defensive co-ordinator?

View Results

Ads by Google