Ponoka alumnae Tess Pearman and Autumn Roos recently won bronze at nationals with their college volleyball team, the Red Deer Polytechnic (RDP) Queens.
The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) women’s national championship was held in Charlottetown, P.E.I. from March 25 to 27, with the top eight teams from across Canada competing.
The Queens won in a five-set victory over the Lynx d’Edouard-Montpetit, but lost in the semi-final, taking bronze.
Pearman said she probably played the best game of her life in the semi-final, and although it was a hard loss, she is satisfied knowing she gave it her all and left it all on the table.
Playing two challenging games in less than 12 hours was no easy feat, she says, and bringing the bronze home feels amazing.
“It was pretty surreal feeling,” said Pearman, who is a third player player with the team and has had five college seasons. She previously played two years with Grant McEwan University.
This was the second time she’d competed at nationals with the Queens, but the last time, they placed second at provincials and made it to nationals as the wild card.
RDP hosted provincials this year, on March 11 and 12. They had a four set victory over the Lakeland College Rustlers, taking gold and solidifying their spot at nationals.
Pearman said winning at home with an enthusiastic local crowd made the experience all the sweeter.
“It was such a cool feeling,” she said, who plays left side. “To win our way to nationals was amazing.”
With a perfect record all season, which she’d never had before, Pearman said “It was a fantastic season to end on … It’s definitely one to remember.”
Although she has two years of eligibility left, Pearman is hanging up her jersey and heading back to the family farm to start ranching with her dad.
“To go 22 and 1 is a heck of a season, especially to end my career on.”
Pearman was named to the CCAA First All-Tournament team in recognition of her outstanding play throughout the tournament.
As a first-year player, Roos didn’t get much game time during the season and didn’t play at nationals, but said it was a really cool experience to be a part of.
“The whole atmosphere of nationals was like nothing I’ve ever experienced,” said Roos, who plays middle.
Roos played volleyball in Ponoka from Grades 6 to 11. Her Grade 12 season was cut short due to COVID-19.
The coach of the Queens offered her a partial scholarship to play on the team and she took the opportunity, she says.
Next year she hopes to develop more with the team and to get some more court time, and to just have fun.