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High school volleyball league recognizes Rebels

Posted on November 20, 2013 by Taber Times

The W.R. Myers Rebels varsity girls volleyball program got two accolades at the Southern Alberta High School Girls Volleyball League awards night last week at Catholic Central in Lethbridge.

Caroline Steinborn earned a second-team all-star nod, while Sam Bennett was selected as Varsity Coach of the Year.

“Caroline is obviously one of our best players. She is not only a good player skill-wise, but she is a very intense player, where her work ethic is phenomenal in everything she does,” said Sam Bennett, head coach of the W.R. Myers Rebels varsity girls basketball team.

“She led our team in aces, she led our team in kills and digs. She’s a very well-rounded player.”

This is Bennett’s third year coaching the varsity girls volleyball team at W.R. Myers.

“I think my philosophy is to strive to get better. Don’t be content with how good you are and try and get better,” said Bennett, on his coaching tactics that earned him coach of the year recognition.

“That way we always have something to strive for. We try and keep things competitive. I’ll be honest, I’m a pretty competitive person — I definitely like to win. We try and keep practices competitive and work hard.”

Bennett added a coach does not receive an award like the one he received without supportive players.

“We pulled together at the end there with how the girls stepped up in the playoffs, which was a huge factor,” said Bennett.

“We played our best volleyball in the last quarter of the season. We got a lot better in terms of getting aggressive. Even if we faced a team with good blockers, we just kept swinging and things would work out for us.”

The Coach of the Year recognition showcased the Rebels improving as the season wore on culminating in a solid showing at the league championship tournament were the Rebels reached the final before bowing out to powerhouse Chinook Coyotes who served as hosts.

“For sure that was some of the best volleyball we played all year in the playoff round,” said Bennett. “But in the round-robin play we didn’t play very well at all.”

The Rebels had an uphill battle after round-robin play, finishing in sixth for seeding for the playoffs. The Rebels would square off against third-seeded Magrath Pandas in the quarters.

“We lost to them in the round robin and for some reason the girls started playing well in the playoffs. The girls were aggressive, they were hitting the ball well and we ended up beating them quite easily,” said Bennett of the Rebels solid playoff portion of the tournament. “They were losing pretty much every game up to that point and I think they figured whatever happens, happens. There was no pressure and they played with less fear.”

Rebels’ next conquest was the Raymond Comets in the semis, downing the number-two seed 16-25, 25-11, 15-13.

“We had a huge turnaround form the first set where we were playing phenomenal. One thing was our middles were really blocking well against their middle which was a league all-star. They blocked her a few times and we dug her a few times and she stopped hitting the ball, we got her flustered,” said Bennett. “We kept attacking and we pulled out the win.”

In the loss against the Coyotes in the league championship final, it was simply a matter of a Chinook team with three first-team all-stars that was head and shoulders above the whole rest of the field.

“They are better than advertised. Chinook is that good of a team. Had it been any other team in the final but us, it would have been the exact same result,” said Bennett. “They are in a different league this year having beat (a) college team and they didn’t just beat them, they destroyed them.”

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