Marauders Senior A boys capture city championship over Crusaders

Reese Mollison and Carson Soles of the Maraduers block a spike in the first set of St. Mary's three set sweep of the Crusaders. --Kyle Kosowan/Daily Herald

For the second straight night, the St. Mary Marauders Senior A volleyball team swept the Carlton Crusaders in three straight sets to win the city finals.

It was the Sr. Boy’s team’s turn on Thursday night, a day after the girls accomplished the sweep at St. Mary. The Marauders made the trip across the city to play at Carlton, and came out with a straight set victory, 25-21, 25-19, and 25-13, to win the best of five game and be crowned city champions.

Marauder coach Rene Quintal was happy with the way his team finished the game in the third set.

“We had to work really hard to run our offence on serve receives,” Quintal said. “Carlton did a really good job of putting pressure on our defence. I was happy with the way we responded in the third, and we controlled their serves a bit better.”

The St. Mary team this year features an entirely new roster compared to the 2019 team, with the exception of returning player Lane Vermette. Quintal said it was a special moment for the grade 12’s to share.

“Last year, not having any competition, it was tough,” he said.

“Winning this game, we can build some momentum heading into regionals and provincials.

Ethan Batiuk, another grade 12 on the team, also shared how important this game, and this season is for him and his teammates, now that they have been able to play a full season.

“It’s really awesome, because last year we couldn’t play at all,” Batiuk said. “Coming back has been really fun I think a lot of us were rusty at the start of the year, but we’re coming back into our form, and I think we will be really good down the stretch.”

Batiuk said the Marauders cut down on their errors Thursday night, which allowed them to be successful. However, he also said there were still areas to improve.

“At the start of the game we were missing our shots and missing passes, and towards the end we started getting better,” he explained. “We started passing better, serving better, and I think that was the turning point for us in the game.”

While the win is something to build confidence from for the Marauders, they will be shorthanded for much of the last part of the season, as a couple of players will be sidelined due to injury. And with regionals and provincials looming, Quintal says that will be something that will need to be overcome.

“Due to injuries, we’ve had to move players to spots they don’t usually play in,” he said. “It was kind of trial and error tonight, but I think we responded really well from an attacking standpoint. Hopefully we can continue to adapt to the new lineup and continue to score points.”

Batiuk noted the team’s momentum heading into the game, and stated how his team will continue to carry it in to regionals.

“This was a huge win, especially since Carlton has been our long time rival,” he said. “I think we’ll ride this high all the way to regionals, and then head to provincials and hopefully we can win.”

Regionals are set to kick off in two weeks. The boys will travel to Lloydminster to compete, with a spot in provincials on the line.

@kyle_kosowan •