For the first time in over 15 years, the DVSS Senior Girls Dynos Volleyball team represented the Valley at the 2A provincial finals.
A young Dynos team had a strong season, winning the zone championship by defeating the number four provincially ranked Strathcona Tweedsmuir School and headed to provincials from November 22 to 25 at Ècole St. Joseph School in Whitecourt.
Head Coach Erica Crocker told the Mail it was an amazing experience for the team on and off the court.
“Both Rachel, [assistant coach], and I are extremely happy with how it went. It has been a privilege to coach this program, and this team in particular is so talented,” she said.
On the court, the team was in action on Thursday in the 12-team tournament and finished tied for first in their pool, topping Immanuel Christian High from Lethbridge and Edmonton Christian. The next day, they fell three sets to Sexsmith and then played Onoway to qualify for the quarterfinals.
That victory put them up against Our Lady of Mount Pleasant Royals from Camrose, who were ranked in second place in the province going into the tournament.
“When you play these big teams, a lot of them have many Grade 12 athlete’s that have played for many years together. This team, as well as other higher ranked teams, played a very aggressive game, and that can be intimidating because we haven’t seen many teams like that,” said Crocker. “We ended up in the quarterfinals against the second-ranked team in the province, … and we put up a pretty good fight.”
Despite their best efforts, they fell to the Royals in two games. They went on to face Christian High from Lethbridge again. This time they fell in two sets.
The Dynos closed out the tournament by playing the host school and won seventh overall.
Crocker explains the Dynos were ranked sixth in the province going into the tournament, and set a goal of maintaining that position. Their finish was a success by the team’s standards.
“Seventh in the province is something to be proud of for sure,” said Crocker.
She said the host did an incredible job of executing the tournament. This included an opening ceremony, dinner and a dance and overall making the teams feel welcome. This also allowed players to make connections with other like-minded athletes from throughout the province.
“When speaking with the committee chair, it was mentioned the event took nearly nine months of planning, with 80 members of their committee to make this tournament happen,” she said.
Crocker said the strength of the Dynos is their true team spirit.
“Right from the hop, everyone got along, they bonded well, trusted each other, and played for each other,” said Crocker. “I really couldn’t have asked for a better group to go the distance with. Plus, the parents brought a lot of fun with their endless cheering and support!”
The outlook for the young team is very good, with only two graduating players.
“We are a very young and talented team, and it is very exciting to see what the future holds for these girls.”
The Dynos return early September 2024 with Junior B, Junior A, Junior Varsity (JV) and the Senior Varsity teams.