After being undefeated in their league this season, the Lacombe Rams Girls Volleyball Team came up short in zones.
Facing stiff competition from the Ponoka Broncs in the final game at Lacombe Composite High School on Nov. 15th, the Rams lost to the Broncs two games to none.
Lacombe Rams Coach Lance Chalmers said the girls simply hit a cold streak, an unfortunate inevitability in the world of sport.
“I hate to say it, but we saved our worst volleyball of the weekend and of the last two weeks for the final,” said Chalmers.
It was clear in the match that both teams had come to compete.
The first game began evenly, with both teams scoring back and forth. However, Ponoka managed to get ahead of the Rams and ended up winning the first game.
In the second game, the Broncs seemed to be in control once again, though Lacombe did a better job keeping the score close.
About halfway through the game, the Rams hit their stride, pulling ahead and breaking the Broncs momentum.
Towards the end of the game, things got tight. Both teams were playing harder and were on form, the Broncs managed to gain the upper hand on the Rams at the right time and walk away with the win.
Chalmers said Lacombe’s performance in the first game of the championship was lacking and while he was disappointed they lost the match, he said he was happy they at least improved in the second game of the final.
“We got behind in the first game, it was very hard to catch up.
“In the second game I thought we battled.”
Chalmers added a few cases of unavoidable bad luck in the second game were also factors in the Rams’ loss.
He said there were a few serves that hit the top of the net and trickled over on the Rams’ side to give the Broncs points and one point where a Rams player fell into the net and landed over the centre line that broke Lacombe’s momentum.
“There’s nothing you can do about that,” said Chalmers. “But when it happens at a key point in a game it’s a struggle.”
Even with the loss, the Rams have still secured a spot at provincials this weekend and are headed to the tournament today. However, Chalmers said that their path to the provincial championship will be more difficult than if they had taken the zone title.
“It’s a harder path now for sure, we will have a harder draw,” said Chalmers.
He added the Lacombe Rams have been to provincials for the last four years, so the players have an idea of what to expect.
As for what the girls can do to perform well at provincials, Chalmers said it’s a matter of shaking off the loss and working hard in practices.
He added that the Rams’ hitting game was not up to par over the weekend so the team will have to focus a bit on that.
“I’m not too worried about my team. I think we will have a good week of practice and see what comes out of it.”
Chalmers said he is confident in his team’s ability to perform, even if they have to fight harder to end up on the podium.
“You have to beat everybody to get to a medal spot anyway.
“So we will do that. We will play hard and see what happens.”