By Cal Braid
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The St. Mary’s Auroras have had a busy couple of weeks, featuring five league games. Assistant coach and St. Mary’s teacher, Carolyn Siemens, gave an update on the team, which she said played some great volleyball.
“On Oct. 17 we played Chinook High, a 4A school who is second in our league. They are tough competition, but we were able to compete well against them, even though we took a loss,” Siemens said. “The next night we travelled to Medicine Hat H.S., who is new to our league this year, and also a 4A school. We played some of our best volleyball that night, taking them to five games, but ultimately falling in the fifth 13-15.”
The team then travelled to Immanuel Christian on Oct. 24 and again went to five games with them, but came up short. In their next league matchup, St. Mary’s hosted Kate Andrews and won the match 3-1. “We are seeing some great passing and serving out of our team (and) the girls are working well as a team,” Siemens told us.
Following that, the Auroras trekked up to Vulcan to play in the annual Monster Smash tournament, and had great success, going undefeated in pool play and placing first. From there, Siemens said, “In the crossover match we played Willow Creek and won, and in the quarter-final we met Senator Gershaw and won in a 2-1 match. Gershaw really stepped up their defence in the second game, and served us tough. The girls came out strong in the third game and were able to solidify the win.”
Things got tougher in the semi-final match with Vauxhall, though. “We played two solid games, but they ended up winning the match and knocking us out of the tournament, giving us our first loss of the tournament and sending us home,” she said.
Last week, the team hosted their Fan Appreciation and Seniors Night with a game against W.R. Myers. “We celebrated our three seniors: Taryn Cranston, Jewel Muller and Makayla Schwarz, who have played in our programs since grade six. It is always a great night to celebrate their dedication to the sport. Myers helped give the fans an exciting night as we went to a five game match with St. Mary’s taking the win.”
Most recently, the team was at Senator Gershaw in Bow Island for a weekend tournament. “On Friday we were able to take two wins beating Taber Christian H.S., and St. Michael’s Pincher Creek,” Siemens said. “Saturday morning we had our last pool game, playing the home team of Gershaw. Gershaw showed up to play and unfortunately our girls really struggled. We had a hard time finding our pass and the court on the other side which ended in a loss for us, putting us in second place in the pool. In the semi-final we played Myers again. Again we had a great game with Myers with 29-27 and 27-25 wins over them. It doesn’t get more exciting in volleyball than that. In the final, we met Gershaw again and this time our girls came to play. We beat them 25-16 both games to end up Champions of the Swamp.”
This week brings league playoffs, with the Auroras scheduled to play Kate Andrews Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. Next week, they’ll attend the Zone tournament in Stirling.