LAC LA BICHE - The École des Beaux-Lacs girls' senior volleyball team are the 2021 division 1A high school champs after a winning weekend in Lac La Biche.
The team, L'Attaque, battled squads from across the northeast zone in round-robin play on Friday and Saturday at the Bold Center courts to reach the championships.
Hosted by the École Plamondon Hawks, the Bold Center venue was used for space and COVID-19 occupancy. The action over the weekend was impressive, said Ecole Plamondon's athletics director, senior girls' team coach and event coordinator Steven Reid.
"With so many skilled teams in our zone we knew it was going to be a challenging and competitive tournament and it certainly proved to be the case with many upsets and close scores," Reid told Lakeland This Week.
One of those upsets came to his own squad. Going into the zones event as the number one team in the zone, the Plamondon Hawks girls were ousted from play in the quarterfinals by the Vermilion's St. Jerome's — a team the Hawks had beaten in previous match-up through the season.
The Hawks loss was one of many surprises over the weekend, Reid said.
"The 10-team tournament was one of the wildest and most unpredictable zones I have been a part of in my 16 years as a High School Girls Volleyball Coach," he said. "Eight out of the 26 total matches went to 3-sets, which is a relatively high percentage. After round-robin there was also a very rare tie-breaker set which saw St. Jerome's defeat Marwayne 25-23 to clinch a berth in the playoff round."
At the end of the weekend of play, St. Jerome's finished in bronze position, the Mallaig team took second and the Beaux-Lacs Attaque will be preparing for the provincial high school 1A championships in Lacombe this coming weekend.
Reid said it was a tough way for the host team to end their season after great results heading into the Zones, but said the Hawks continue to be a growing team and will be back next year with a good foundation of returning players.
"It was a tough way to end our season as we enjoyed a great deal of success this year, placing first in Boyle and second in four of our other five tournaments," he said. "We look to be a contender again next year as we have eight of our 10 players returning, including five senior starters."