Interest in boys’ volleyball has spiked this year, which is good news for Innisfail Jr./Sr.High School, which hasn’t seen a senior boys team in years, said athletic director Jeff Anderson.
During last week’s practice, 10 boys showed up and Anderson hopes they remain interested this season and more importantly, next.
“They must start in JV and then advance next year,” he explained. “Even though there are some grade 12 players, they have to start at the JV level to get reintroduced to the league and build from where they left off.”
The group plays their first home game tonight at the middle school gym.
The senior girls, nine members in total, came out to tryouts Tuesday and started practice Wednesday and Thursday before heading to Red Deer College over the weekend for the season opener.
“We’re pumped,” said Chelsea Lessard, Grade12, of the season getting underway. Of all the school sports, volleyball ranks number one on her list.
“The team is playing together really well and the intensity of the group is good,” she said. Haley Welnrauch, Grade 11, said having five of the girls returning from last year has them in a good place.
“Because we’ve played together already, we know each other,” she said, adding the team will still continue to work on communication and getting the newer players involved as well.
Last year the girls place fourth in the division, explained Welnrauch, and the two hope things go as well or even better over the season.
Over the weekend the girls split their match versus Thurber as well as with Lacombe Composite — two of the strongest 4A teams in the central zone, said Anderson. They lost a close match with Drayton Valley by two points each game putting them into the consolation side of the playoff draw on the topside of the 20 teams in the event.
They beat Bentley but lost to St. Augustine of Ponoka and lost in the quarterfinals.
Anderson said they girls play Stettler away tonight.