Marauders and Crusaders working on team chemistry

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Madison Fisher and Kathlyn Tessier of the St. Mary Marauders team up to block a smash attempt from Arielle Shewchuk of the Warman Wolverines during the Marauders senior girls volleyball tournament earlier this year.

As the first month of high school volleyball play draws to a close in the province, the main goal for many teams in the senior girls’ ranks is to improve from week to week.

That’s especially true for the St. Mary Marauders, as they hosted a 16-team tournament in their gym over the weekend.

“It’s all about the process for us at the moment,” Marauders head coach Shaun Hunko said.

“We know where we are at and where we would like to be at the end of the season as we gear up towards trying to make the 5A provincials in Saskatoon.”

The Marauders made it to the championship pool over the weekend but ended up missing out on a playoff spot and lost a placement game in three sets to the Crusaders.

“I think the main thing we need to keep improving on is how we do in certain game situations,” Hunko said.

“There’s a lot of valuable lessons that we can take from what we face in each tournament and that will allow us to get better on a weekly basis.”

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald
Bryn Blocka launches in the air to make a play for the Carlton Crusaders during a round-robin game against the Wakaw Warriors.

Although the Crusaders ended up with a smaller roster over the weekend to prior commitments some of the players had, coach Brooke Dallyn was pleased with how the team performed.

“We had a lot of younger players step up and play a lot more minutes than they were used to, which they were able to do a great job of adapting to,” Dallyn said.

“It was a pretty good weekend for us. Even though it wasn’t our full lineup, to be able to make it to the championship side was really exciting.”

The Holy Cross Crusaders of Saskatoon ended up winning the tournament in a three set thriller over the North Battleford Vikings.

The bronze medal went to the Wakaw Warriors after a straight sets triumph over the Wynyard Bears.

“I’m really glad with how smoothly things went for us as tournament hosts,” Hunko said. “A lot of credit needs to go to everyone behind the scenes, including the parents who ran the canteens and the officials who did a great job all weekend.

“If it wasn’t for them, it would have been a lot harder to get everything done.”

The Crusaders and the Marauders will return to tournament action this weekend in Saskatoon at the University of Saskatchewan.