PACI boys’ prepared for 3A regionals

A clear indicator of the passion that the Prince Albert Collegiate Institute Bears boys’ volleyball team has for the sport came last weekend when they hosted an SHSAA 3A conference tournament.

“Our first game wasn’t until 11 in the morning and they were already banging on the doors at 7:45 to get into the gym,” Bears assistant coach Dave Lokinger said.

“They were loving the fact that they got a chance to host a conference tournament and they knew it was a totally different experience from what they’ve had at the three tournaments that we had already played at this year. It was pretty cool to see.”

The Bears, who are coached by Ashley Kosolowsky and also have Ranelle Mamczasz on the bench, are part of a six-team 3A East regional tournament that will take place Saturday in Birch Hills and will see two schools advance to next weekend’s provincials in Tisdale.

Birch Hill and Tisdale are among the schools that will be at the tournament, along with Saskatoon Christian, Wadena and Senator Myles Venne from Air Ronge.

“There will be a couple of bumps and bruises against some good teams, but it will be a good experience for our team,” Lokinger said.

“The main thing that we will be focusing on is ourselves and what we do on our side of the court.”

This year’s roster for the Bears has a wide mix of players as they feature three Grade 12’s, a student each from Grade 11 and 10, plus a trio of Grade 9’s.

“We’ve focused on a lot on skill development this year and the growth that the guys have had is incredible,” Lokinger said.

“The support that they have given each other as the season has gone on has also been awesome to see. They really know what it means to be part of a team.”

Before hosting the conference tournament last weekend, the Bears took part in events at Carlton, St. Mary and Little Red River School.