By Greg Price
The St. Mary’s Celtics boys volleyball team’s quest for a 2A zone banner begins this week at Lethbridge College.
“We have some momentum going in. Our last tournament in Vulcan we finished second. We lost to the Gershaw team that won our home tournament. We are still a ways away from the Gershaw team, but we don’t have to worry about them because they are a 1A team,” said Derry Kolody, head coach of the St. Mary’s Celtics boys volleyball team. “But it’s always nice to measure yourself against them. We played W.R. Myers in exhibition and won two out of five games.”
Against the 2A south zone boys field, how the Celtics measure up is going into the zone tournament as the top seed.
“Usually in the past, Immanuel Christian has either won or gone to provincials as a number one or number two seed,” said Kolody. “Two teams go to provincials, so sometimes even the ranking going into zones, it’s important to be ranked high. But at the end of the day, you want to do well in pool play.”
The Celtics have beat Immanuel Christian this year along with Fort Macleod, two perennial powerhouses in 2A boys volleyball.
“There is so much parity this year, you are probably looking at six teams that have a chance on any given day. This is the first time it has been this close. Usually it’s the top two or three that are head and shoulders above everyone else,” said Kolody. “If you can get a young team into provincials and give them that taste, then it might help the program in future years.”
The Celtics attack is as varied as any for a 2A team, which Kolody notes it will come down to the effectiveness in setting up that attack.
“We will have the full court, so it will be, can we pass? If our guys can handle the pressure and just pass, the attack will be there,” said Kolody, adding the team’s height defensively puts pressure on the other side of the floor. “Sometimes teams are afraid to swing because of our height. When they sawing hard, we can stuff them hard.”
The Celtics compete at 5:30 p.m. (Vauxhall) and 8:30 p.m. (F.P. Walshe) on Thursday and then a game on Saturday at 11 a.m. (Kate Andrews in round-robin pool play at Lethbridge College. The zone schedule and results can be followed on http://www.southzonevolleyball.com.