According to Scott Reiling, the Vauxhall girls’ volleyball coach, Rimbey’s hospitality and friendliness shone even brighter than the gold medal his team garnered after the provincial tournament held here Nov. 22 to 24.
“Don’t get me wrong, it helps receiving a gold medal, but we were blown away with the hospitality we received in Rimbey,” said Reiling, after the ASAA 2A Girls Provincial Volleyball Tournament.
“Everywhere we went and everything we did, we were treated so well. We left with a smile on our faces.”
Reiling was humble about Vauxhall’s first-place finish.
“I don’t think we were the best team there, but everything seemed to work for us.”
Reiling gave credit to his team, noting that every player played her best and gave her all.
“At the end of the day, it’s out of the coach’s control.”
Vauxhall did not begin the tournament in good form, losing its first game to Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School. However, they bounced back quickly, gaining momentum as the tournament progressed.
“That (first game) was a heartbreaker. We didn’t execute well. After that game it seemed the girls took a deep breath and played really well.”
Vauxhall went on to defeat Vegreville 23-12 and 25-21 in the gold medal match Nov. 24.
In the bronze medal games Spirit River Regional Academy defeated Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School 25–15 and 25-19.
Rimbey Spartans coach Lisa Shukun said hosting the tournament was a great experience. She was extremely proud of the Spartans who continued to play hard even though they didn’t make the playoffs.
The Spartans, who finished third in areas, were playing against tough competition, she said.
“It was a great experience for them and I think overall they were excited and happy, though a little disappointed they didn’t make the playoffs.
Although Rimbey lost by a wide margin to Vauxhall in their first game Nov. 22, they held their own the following day against Bearspaw Christian School and Mayerthorpe High School.
“They still lost, but they played much better,” said Shukun. “They never gave up.”
The coach said the new gym floor in the community centre was a great boon to the tournament.
“Having the new gym floor was definitely an asset. Having that floor means we can bring in other events like this. We could host basketball, as well.”
Teams competing in pool A in the tournament were Spirit River Regional Academy, Vegreville Composite High School, St. Dominic’s Catholic High School, Christ The King High School, Three Hills High School and Magrath High School.
Teams in pool B were Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School, Vauxhall High School, Mayerthorpe High School, Bearspaw Christian School, Peace River High School and Rimbey High School.