LEWISPORTE, N.L. – They may have been knocked out early, but the Lewisporte 13U female volleyball team came away from last weekend’s tournament winners just the same.
“This is the first ever game we’ve won this year,” said Emily Welsh April 21 at the 13U Female Central Regional Championships. “That was really great.”
For many of the girls on the Lewisporte Intermediate School team, it was their first season. The Grade 7s haven’t had a team since 2003 or 2004, according to tournament manager Dean Catling. Still working out the kinks, they had yet to win a game before the final tournament of the year. As for what changed, some of the players said they had come into the weekend with a different attitude.
“We cheered a lot more this tournament,” said Dawn Bungay. “I think that really helped.”
Her teammate Erika Reid agreed, adding that in previous games, when the team was losing, they would get discouraged. Conversely, when they were leading the opposing team, they would get complacent.
“We played good today,” said Bungay. “We realized our mistakes as we were playing, and we worked to fix them as we went. We didn’t give up this time.”
Harbour Breton Storm came out top of the podium after two days of play, followed by the Pearson Astros. Grand Falls-Windsor’s Exploits Valley Intermediate team rounded out the top three.
Lewisporte was not the only team to feel they had improved over the course of the season and the tournament. Abby Pittman of Exploits Valley Intermediate told the Pilot last weekend was the best the team has played.
“We really improved a whole lot,” she said. “We played a really tight game.”
Her teammate Sarah Gruchy agreed, and added that she was impressed with the level of play at the tournament in general.
“Everyone here today deserves to win,” she said.
While the season may be over, the players at Lewisporte Intermediate School are already eager for next year, despite having to face try-outs, something they were spared this season. Whoever makes it, the girls said, it would be all about working together and learning to function as a team.
“We’re going to have a wicked team next year,” said Welsh.