The High Prairie St. Andrew’s Saints raise the banner as the champions of the 2023 Josh Halverson Junior High School Girls’ Volleyball Tournament at Prairie River Junior High School. In the front row, left-right, are Sara Pruden, Kadence Chalifoux, Lexi Davies-Hunt, Brynn Billings and assistant coach Jaime Amyotte. In the back row, left-right, are head coach Leanne Cox, Jemma Hesse, Rylea Cardinal, Casey Billings, Amanda Donahue, Carley Cox and Brynn Amyotte.

The High Prairie St. Andrew’s Saints won the girls’ side of the annual Josh Halverson Junior High School Volleyball Tournament on Oct. 20-21 at Prairie River Junior High School in High Prairie.

St. Andrew’s defeated the Hythe Panthers 25-19, 25-13 in the final of the 13-team tournament.

Saints’ coach Leanne Cox says the team was strong all tournament and were ready to avenge a loss to Hythe in the final of the Howler Cup in Grande Prairie on Sept. 22-23.

“Both coaches assured the girls they knew what they needed to do to beat this team,” Cox says.

“Play smart and play a strong defensive game – if you do that, you got this.”

The girls did not disappoint.

“The Saints played both a strong offensive and defensive game,” Cox says.

“The entire team was in the zone – they were doing all they could to not fall to this team for a second time this season.”

St. Andrew’s defeated the host Prairie River Raiders in the semifinal to advance to the final after being Paul Rowe B team, of Manning, in the quarter-finals.

St. Andrew’s defeated the Prairie River B team, Donnelly G.P. Vanier Vipers, and the Wabasca Mistassiniy Mustangs in preliminary round-robin play.

Other teams in the tournament included the Kapawe’no Bears, Gift Lake, Kinuso Knights, Slave Lake Roland Mitchener Rams, Peace River T.A. Norris, and Wabasca Oski Pasikon- iwew Kamik.

By winning the final, the Saints also won the High Prairie School Division junior girls’ championship to qualify for the Northwest Zone finals Nov. 3-4 in Peace River, hosted by the Glenmary Saints.

St. Andrew’s continues on a winning streak. The Saints won the T.A. Norris Ty Dennison Memorial Tournament in Peace River on Sept. 29-30, defeating the Glenmary Saints in the final.
fter that, St. Andrew’s won the title in the Peace High Nomads tournament Oct. 13-14.

Cox says both coaches are super-excited about “this amazing team” in the zone finals.

“It’s been a great year on so many levels,” Cox says.

“We can’t wait to see what this team of 10 will accomplish at zones.”

She adds the team has been successful because of the players’ dedication, teamwork and being coachable.

by Richard Froese

This item copyrighted by / South Peace News   High Prairie, Alberta

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