Charles Hays Secondary School’s girls volleyball teams were in action again this weekend as they continued to tune up their games for upcoming zones competition.
The junior girls were in Terrace where they competed in an eight-team tournament, finishing in second place after losing to Hazelton’s A-team. Head coach Paula Picard said the team had to play short handed as she was only able to bring eight players, but the team played well despite the difficult circumstances.
“We were traveling pretty lean,” she said. “Overall, i’m very proud of the way the girls stepped up to challenge presented to them.”
Picard said the competition in Terrace gave the team a good idea of what zone competition would look like as most of the teams present will be in the Rainmaker’s division.
CHSS played its first group stage match again Bulkley Valley Christian School, losing in three close sets, 25-19, 26-27 and 11-15. Their second match was against Skeena Middle School, which they won in three sets 25-18, 19-25 and 15-12. The team’s final group stage match was a two set victory over Hazelton’s B-team 25-21 and 25-12.
The Rainmaker’s strong group play results netted them a spot in the tournaments final game against the Hazelton A-team, a game they lost 25-10 and 25-16. Picard said superior athleticism and experience was the difference in the final game.
“They brought a really aggressive offensive style,” she said.
Picard said that despite the quality result, the team still has areas of weakness it needs to work on if they want to compete at zones. In addition to the basics of the game on the defensive end, Picard said the team needs to work on the mental aspects of the game, such as not making avoidable mistakes, staying consistent and playing hard when the game gets tough.
“When we hit a rut, it all seems to go bad and two, three, four or five points stack up against you real fast,” she said. “So it’s important that we can learn not to let that affect us.”
The senior girls hosted a play day at CHSS on Nov. 4, inviting teams from Kitimat and Haida Gwaii to get some game experience under their belts. The Rainmakers had a successful tournament, winning all three games they played in the play day’s best-of-five set format.
“I would say overall, it went really well,” said head coach Karina Dracott. “All things considered, it was a good play day and we took all the wins so that was a nice boost.”
CHSS’s first game was against Gudangaay Thaats’gaa Naay (GMD) secondary school from Haida Gwaii, a game the Rainmakers won in straight sets 25-14, 26-24 and 25-16. CHSS then played against Kitimat, winning again in straight sets 25-4, 25-14 and 25-16. Their final game was a rematch against GMD which the team won 25-12, 25-19 and 25-18.
Dracott said she is happy with the improvement her team has shown through the season, and was glad to see that they were able to experiment with offensive plays they’ll have to use against stiffer competition in zones. She also pointed to the teams effort on defense to win points where their opponents had the momentum.
“There were some good rallies, and people were flying across the floor which was good to see,” she said.