Crusaders girls’ finish fourth at provincials for third straight year

Photo Submitted The Carlton Crusaders girls’ volleyball team were all smiles after receiving their fourth place plaque in Weyburn Saturday.

Although her team just missed out on capturing a bronze medal once again at the provincial championships, Carlton Crusaders girls’ volleyball head coach Brooke Dallyn was thrilled with how the squad performed at this weekend’s 5A tournament in Weyburn.

“We had seven Grade 12 girls on the team this year and you could tell that they didn’t want the season to be done early,” Dallyn said. “They were determined to finish the year off strong and they showed that all weekend.”

After finishing third in Pool B play with a 2-2 record, the Crusaders advanced to the semi-final with a thrilling three set victory over the Balgonie Greenall Griffins.

They then lost another three set contest to the Bishop James Mahoney Saints of Saskatoon before suffering a straight sets setback to the North Battleford Vikings in the third place contest.

“Our quarter-final match against Balgonie was probably our best match of the entire season,” Dallyn said. “It was awesome to see the girls play as well as they did on the provincial stage.

“We ran out of gas a little bit at the end there but I thought the girls showed a lot of fight all weekend.”

The Crusaders had previously lost bronze medal contests to the St. Joseph Guardians of Saskatoon and the Weyburn Eagles at the last two provincials.

Although the 2020 season isn’t starting for another 10 months, next year’s Crusaders roster will have a different look to it as Gage Grassick, Taryn Izsak, Sarah Weslowski, Taylor Berge, Bryn Blocka, Rebecca Rischynski and Abbygail Larson will all graduate from the high school ranks.

“There are some gaps that will have to try and fill, but I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of talented girls that will fit into those spots nicely,” Dallyn said.

“I think the provincial experience that our returning girls had this year will be huge going forward. There’s nothing better than facing some of the top teams in the province.”

The Regina Campbell Tartans captured their second straight provincial title on Saturday in Weyburn with a straight sets win over the Saints.