SHS hosts first volleyball tournament at home this season

As this year’s high school volleyball season draws to a close, Strathmore High School’s teams were excited to host one of the last tournaments of the season at home.

The event drew further excitement, as it was the first such tournament able to be hosted at full capacity, now that COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.

“It was awesome. We, for the first time in years, got to fill the gym full of people from the school during the day,” said SHS Sr. Girls Volleyball Coach, Darrel Hargrove. “We had a couple of hiccups across the way, but overall, the tournament went really well. We did have some teams that were not able to make it, so we had to adjust on the fly, but we made it work and had a pretty successful tournament.”

Hargrove said the SHS Sr girls team finished fifth in their round robin pool, not qualifying to move forward to the playoff round of the tournament.

The Sr boys played first in their pool and advanced, making it to the gold medal match, where they were ultimately defeated.

Though the girls did not place, Hargrove added all of their matches were very tight and could have swung in their favour.

“We went to three sets with a few teams and lost by two points to some … everything was really tight across the board and it just shook out that way for us,” he said.

On the girls’ side, Springbank took the win by the end of the tournament, mirrored by Cochrane claiming gold for the boys.

Hargrove said he was optimistic for the girls team next season, as the majority of the players will be returning to the roster.

For the boys, it will be time to train up a new team, as more of the athletes will be graduating at the end of this school year.

“We are always trying to make sure that the program on both ends is strong for the senior and junior programs, and just continuing to build and strengthen the level of volleyball that we can play here,” said Hargrove. “There’s lots to look forward to for next year with a lot of returning players, especially on the girls side. We do have a lot of returning players next year, which is going to be fantastic.”

Hargrove commended Jackson Proust (17) on the boys team for his setting and his performance at the net over the course of the weekend, as well as Stella d’Argent (17) on the girls’ side for her offensive plays.

Come Nov. 18 and 19, SHS will be hosting a boys zone tournament, while the girls will be headed to Cochrane for the same occasion.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times