The École Plamondon Hawks volleyball teams came out on top during the 1A Northeast Alberta Schools' Athletic Association (NEASAA) zone championship tournaments held over the past weekend.
The girls' tournament was hosted in Plamondon jointly at the Hawks and École Beausejour gyms on Nov. 18 and 19 drawing 10 senior teams from the northeast portion of the province. The boys' team headed down to St. Mary’s High School in Vegreville, defeating the École Mallaig Stingers 25-22, 25-20 over the weekend in the final matchup for gold.
“Both Plamondon teams went undefeated throughout Zones and neither team dropped a set. [It was] all 2-0 set victories,” said Steven Reid, École Plamondon School’s athletic director and senior girls' volleyball coach.
The Hawks girls played Bonnyville’s École des Beaux-Lacs’ Attaque girls' team in the final match, winning the game's sets 25-14, 25-10 Saturday night.
“It's a tough zone. There were 17 teams in 1A girls and only the top 10 got to compete this weekend,” said Reid, attributing the win to his team’s dedication all season.
“It's been a long time coming. We have worked extremely hard to have an awesome group, super dedicated girls… We were geared up to win this event today and it was in our home gym, which is pretty special,” he said, Saturday night.
Last year's tournament saw the Hawks lose to the Attaque, making the final win that much more meaningful.
“We had a couple of tough ones, but this team beat us last year in zones. We just outplayed them, but nothing but respect for them… they’re a great team”
Watching from the sidelines was the Hawk’s captain Alyvia Williams, who has been out due to an injury for a couple of weeks. As the team’s leading scorer this season, Williams said she was thrilled with the Hawks’ performance.
“I'm really proud. It’s been really hard being off, but it's really fun to watch them play. We’ve been practicing for this for so long and this has always been one of our goals,” she said
“We all just work really hard. And it was just really good to see it all come together.”
Both teams will advance to the 1A provincial championship tournaments that will be held Nov. 24-26 for a chance to claim the top prize. The tournaments will bring the top boys and girls 1A teams from across the province. The girls will play in Picture Butte and the boys will play in Vegreville again.
“We are headed to provincials in less than a week. It's going to be a very quick turnaround... I think if we play like this, we're going to be pretty tough to play against,” said Reid.