As the old saying goes, steel sharpens steel.
And apparently the season full of close battles in the Moose Jaw high school girls volleyball league between the Vanier Spirits and Peacock Toilers turned both teams into something close to scalpel-like sharpness.
The Toilers took a 2-1 win over the Meadow Lake Spartans to win bronze at the provincial 4A girls volleyball championships in Fort Qu’Appelle on Saturday.
And a little over an hour later, the Spirits capped off an amazing season for local girls volleyball with a 2-1 win over Nipawin L.P. Miller in the gold medal final.
The win marked the second provincial title for Vanier in a month after the Spirits won the girls soccer championship at the end of October.
Vanier went undefeated through the round robin, sweeping their way to 2-0 wins over Yorkton Sacred Heart and Fort Qu’Appelle before battling through a close game with Meadow Lake, eventually prevailing 2-1 after dropping the first game.
Their final round robin contest was against a relatively familiar opponent – none other than Peacock, who were also undefeated at that point in the tournament. It was the two teams’ second meeting in less than a week after the Toilers prevailed in the Moose Jaw high school girls city final on Wednesday.
Vanier would get a measure of revenge, though, with a 2-1 (14-25, 25-15, 15-12) win in another scorcher of a battle between the two teams.
Peacock, meanwhile, took a 2-1 win over Meadow Lake in their opener and followed with 2-0 wins over Fort Qu’Appelle and Sacred Heart.
The two local squads finished one-two on top of their round robin pool to advance to the playoff round – and things most certainly didn’t get any easier from there.
Vanier would end up in three-game wars the remainder of the tournament – taking a 19-25, 25-22, 15-4 win over Humboldt in the quarter-final before finding themselves in an even closer battle in the semifinal, where they’d defeat Meadow Lake 25-21, 20-25, 19-17.
The Toilers won their quarter-final 2-1 (22-25, 25-16, 15-8) over the Lumsden Angels, setting up the possibility that with a semifinal win, two Moose Jaw teams would be playing for provincial gold.
Alas, it wasn’t to be, as Nipawin would prevail 2-1 (21-25, 25-21, 15-11).
Peacock would still end their season on a winning note, though, downing Meadow Lake 2-1 (25-21, 16-25, 16-14), overcoming a 14-10 deficit in their final game before reeling off six straight points to claim bronze.
Be sure to check back for comments from the two teams later!