St. Mary senior girls edge out Carlton in home tournament

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald St. Mary Marauders teammates Kiera Joy and Seanna Trumier team up to block a hit attempt by a member of the Humboldt Mohawks on Friday.

It was an all Prince Albert final at the St. Mary High School gym Saturday as part of a 16-team senior girls’ volleyball tournament.

When the dust settled, it was the host Marauders that came away with the title as they defeated the Carlton Crusaders in three sets (25-17, 18-25 and 15-10) to go undefeated in the two-day event.

“The girls brought it from start to finish,” Marauders head coach Shaun Hunko said. “Their energy out on the court was great and they just took it up another level in the playoffs., especially with a straight sets with over Meadow Lake in the semifinal.”

It’s been a strong start to the season for the Marauders as they finished second at Carlton’s tournament and finished the following weekend in Warman.

“I think everything has improved for us from when the season started, but our defensive play has come a long way,

“I’ve noticed that the girls have made a lot more blocks at the net and they were digging up a lot more balls this weekend, which makes a huge difference as we aren’t an overly tall team.”

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Gage Grassick sets the ball up for her Carlton Crusaders teammates during a tournament at St. Mary High School over the weekend.

The Crusaders road to the final was a little bit tougher as they overcame a slow start to the tournament and would later defeat the Bishop James Mahoney Saints in three sets to reach the championship contest.

“We were slow coming out of the gates on both days, but we got better as Saturday went along, which was nice to see,” Crusaders head coach Brooke Dallyn said.

“The girls showed some grit in the last two games of the tournament. They bounced back to beat BJM in a really good game, and everyone really stepped up their games in the final, which was great.”

Both teams will be in Saskatoon this weekend for a tournament at the University of Saskatchewan before they travel to Spruce Grove, Alta. for a tournament over Thanksgiving weekend.

“We’re seeing a lot of good teams at these tournaments and I think that’s only going to make us better as we get closer to provincials,” Dallyn said.

Meanwhile, the Marauders senior boys’ team picked up a tournament win of their own over the weekend as they ran the table at the University of Saskatchewan.

The Crusaders ended up in fourth place with a 5-3 record.