By Michael Adey
Special to The Gulf News
GRANDY’S RIVER, NL – 2017 has been another unbelievable year for the Grandy's River Collegiate senior boys’ volleyball team, concluding with Grandy’s fourth consecutive provincial championship win.
The season started Sept. 30 with Grandy's hosting the annual Shannon McDermott Memorial Tournament in tribute to their late assistant coach.
Nineteen teams competed in three divisions, making it the biggest turnout to date. The team appreciates everyone who helped make this another great tournament.
Grandy's travelled to Corner Brook Oct. 20-21 to compete in the annual Newfoundland and Labrador Volleyball Association (NLVA) VolleyWest tournament.
This was the first of the three big NLVA tournaments of year, with teams from the entire province competing against each other regardless of school population.
Grandy's swept their division 4-0 in round robin play and easily won their playoffs matches until the final.
The Tier 1 final saw Grandy's facing Corner Brook High, but they came up short 25-23 and 25-22, taking the silver – still a great feat for a school with a K-12 population of less than 100.
On Nov. 3-4 Grandy's headed to Gander to compete in the NLVA's VolleyCentral. Grandy's started off slow but picked up the pace as the tournament went on.
In the end Grandy's faced Smallwood Academy of Gambo in the B final and went on to win in straight sets, capturing the title.
Grandy's travelled to English Harbour West Nov. 30-Dec. 2 to compete in the SSNL Boys A Varsity Volleyball Provincial.
Expectations were high going into the tournament, but with many strong teams including Gill Memorial, MSB, Conrad Fitzgerald Academy, and South West Arm also competing, it wasn't going to be an easy task.
From the opening match it was clear Grandy's came to play, easily taking their first two matches on opening day.
Saturday saw Grandy's face MSB in the final round robin match.
It was an epic battle from beginning to end, with Grandy's falling short 15-12 in the third set.
Players were disappointed and nervous, because finishing second in their division would mean facing host school Conrad Fitzgerald Academy – who were undefeated to this point – in the semi-final.
Grandy's took the first set easily with a score of 25-14; however, CFA responded and fired back with strong play, taking the second 25-21.
In the third set Grandy's jumped out to a quick 5-2 lead and never looked back, winning a nail bitter with a final score of 15-10.
The final saw a rematch between MSB and Grandy's. It was clear from the warm ups both teams wanted the championship badly.
Grandy's jumped out with strong play and easily took the first set 25-16.
Unfortunately, they slipped a little at the beginning of the second set and trailed 8-2. After a time-out, Grandy's responded with some strong play of their own and continued to cut into the lead.
Tensions were high at 20-20, but Grandy's kept their cool and finish the set winning 25-21.
This was Grandy's fourth provincial championship banner in a row, an accomplishment few teams can ever claim.
Grandy's would to thank all those who helped make 2017 another successful year of volleyball.