Holding court

St. Mary volleyball players Mason Issel, Ryan Crawford and Luke Wandzura will be representing Saskatchewan at the Canada Games in Winnipeg in August. (Josef Jacobson/Daily Herald)

St. Mary High School to be well represented on volleyball court at 2017 Canada Games

The Saskatchewan Volleyball Association is sending its Top 12 under-18 men to Winnipeg in August to compete against the best athletes in the country at the 2017 Canada Games. Three of those players are from St. Mary High School.

The rosters for Team Saskatchewan’s U15 to U18 men and women’s teams were recently announced and St. Mary students Ryan Crawford, Mason Issel and Luke Wandzura have been named to the U18 squad.

“They’re going to bring different qualities to the team,” St. Mary volleyball coach Rene Quintal said.

“Mason’s going to bring a big presence at the net. He’s a big frame, more of a blocking presence as a middle blocker, and he’s real versatile. He can also play either the corner positions. Ryan’s going to be more of the emotional leader. He’s probably going to be slated to be one of the liberos, so the quarterback of the reception and maybe anchor the defense. And Luke’s going to bring basically a real solid presence in the middle from an attacking and blocking perspective.”

Reaching the U18-level has been a three-year process for the St. Mary trio, who have trained with the core Team Saskatchewan group since they were 15 years old. Last year Crawford, Issel and Wandzura were among a group of volleyball players who went on a tour of Japan to help prepare for the competition. The final team selection was made at the end of May.

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