By William Carter
Special to The Gulf News
PORT AUX BASQUES, N.L. – The St. James Regional High Saints, represented by a combination of Grades 7 and 8 players, took bronze at the Newfoundland and Labrador 14U female provincial volleyball championships in Corner Brook April 13-14.
On Friday night, the Saints played two matches. The girls' first match against St. Thomas Aquinas from Port au Port was a barn burner with the Saints winning the first set 26-24 and the second 25-20. It was the first match these girls played together all year.
Up next, the Saints took on the Heritage Huskies from Lethbridge. The first set was a 25-15 loss, but the girls got a little closer in the second losing 25-20. The record was good for second in the division, but resulted in a move down to tier 2.
On Saturday morning, an early 8 a.m. Start saw the Saints come up against Brookside Junior High from Torbay. The first set went to Brookside 25-18, but the girls stormed back in the second to win 25-22. The third set was a back-and-forth affair, but SJRH finally pulled it off with a 15-12 win.
Up next was Clarenville. The Saints were beaten 25-15 in the first set but bounced back in the second 25-23. A couple of key points missed in the third resulted in 15-13 loss for a one-and-one that would mean a four-hour wait to see if they made the playoffs.
It was worth the wait as the girls were slotted in the quarter finals against St. Thomas Aquinas. The girls came out flying and quickly defeated Aquinas for the second time in two quick sets 25-15 and 25-18.
In the semis SJRH drew Corner Brook’s Grade 7 team. The girls were defeated 25-15 and 25-20. They were disappointed but had to quickly bounce back for the bronze medal match against Brookside. The first set was close, but the girls managed to pull out the victory 25-22. The second set was easily the opponents 25-16.
In the third, the teams switched ends with the Saints leading 8-6, but it was quickly tied up at 8-8. At that point, though, SJRH got hot server cruised to a 15-9 third set win to claim the bronze.