Big Red Volleyball Tournament
GPRC Wolves Volleyball with the support of Service Plus Inns & Suites hosted the annual Big Red Volleyball Tournament 16 & 17 September 2016.
Big Red - Boys
- Champion: St. Joseph High School Celtics - Grande Prairie - Head Coach - Phil Duffy
- Second Place: Parkland Composite High School Pacers - Edson - Head Coach - Andrew Visser
- Third Place: Charles Spencer High School Mavericks - Grande Prairie - Head Coach - Dusty Sage
- 4th Place: Peace Wapiti Academy Titans - Grande Prairie - Head Coach - Jenice Warkentin
Mitchell Gorman - Setter and outside hitter - St. Joes - Mitchell was one of the most versatile athletes in the gym making impacts in all areas of the game for the Celtics this weekend. As starting Setter for St. Joes Mitchell did an excellent job spreading the offence between multiple positions and to all of his attackers making it very difficult for opposing defenses. As well as distributing the offence, Mitchell was also heavily involved as an attacker as Coach Phil Duffy would sub in a back row setter allowing him to become a threat through his time in the front row.
Tournament All Stars:
Chad Morrison - Opposite - St. Joes - Chad fulfilled all of the roles of a classic opposite attacker this weekend taking a high volume of sets and efficiently turning them into offensive points for his team. The Lefty from St. Joes was a dependable powerhouse, every time Mitchell Gorman needed a swing to finish a rally he was sure to look Morrison's way.
Tyler McCartney - Setter - Parkland - The Parkland Pacers had an excellent tournament and showed a very determined style of play throughout the weekend. With strong attackers spread throughout the roster Tyler had a difficult task of making sure everyone had an opportunity to impact the game. Tyler did a great job of equally distributing his offense between all of his teammates and keeping his set location in places his hitters could hit a variety of shots, making it very challenging for opponents to key on stopping one person at a time.
Carter Nadkrynechny - Leftside - Charles Spencer - Coming into this year's tournament as defending champions the Charles Spencer Mavericks had high expectations and were on everyone's watch list. They did not disappoint putting on a great show in a number of exciting 3rd set matches, particularly there intense semi-final vs the future champion St. Joes Celtics. From match number one Carter Nadkrynechny caught the attention of opponents and fans alike with his impressive jumping ability and dynamic attacking. Not the tallest player in the gym by any means, Carter surely plays big! As an offensive threat Carter led the Mavericks with consistent pressure from the left side and gave his team big time momentum boosts with impressive kills out of X attacks from the right side.
Quarter Final #1 PWA vs GP Comp: Winner PWA: Peace Wapiti Academy Titans coming from behind to win a thrilling 3 set match over the Composite Tomahawks. The Titans were down 8-1 at the turn of the 3rd set and things looked dire, but they got themselves back in the game with precision serving and big kills to finish off a number of long rallies. They were able to finish the match with a big point scoring phase outscoring the Tomahawks 14-5 after the turn!
Semi Final #1 St. Joes vs Charles Spencer: Winner St. Joes: It was a contrast in styles as the high flying, hard hitting, big blocking Mavericks faced the well rounded, efficient, dynamic Celtics. The St. Joes Celtics roster is very homogenous with the majority of their roster being 5'10-6' tall, well rounded and highly skilled athletes; the majority of them being near mirror images if were not for the change in hair colour. The Mavericks on the other hand had a mix of short athletes who jumped out of the gym and tall towering middle and right side blockers; their size advantage made for a very intimidating front court for other teams to face. With both teams undefeated heading into the semi-final the gym was packed with people expecting an exciting match up. With the bragging rights of Grande Prairie on the line the two local powerhouses did not disappoint! St. Joes controlled play in game one with precision passing and consistent offence that didn’t give the Mavericks an opportunity to use their big arms. The second game saw a return of consistent play from St. Joes, but it was met with new found offence through the middle for the Mavericks who increased their passing enough to feed the ball into their young 6'4 middle attackers. It took some time for St. Joes to adjust, but in the third set aggressive serving and rally killing offense from Chad Morrison and Matthew Richards gave the Celtics a lead early in set 3 and they never let go of it.
Final Parkland Composite Pacers vs. St. Joes Celtics: Winner St. Joes: on GPRC main court for the Big Red 2016 Final the Pacers and Celtics had a great 3 set battle to finish off an excellent tournament. St. Joes were true to form in game 1 controlling play with precision passing that allowed Tournament MVP Mitchell Gorman to spread his offence to all zones of the net and all attackers on the floor. The middle attack from Sean Gallant and Levi-PowerFardy in particular was very strong early allowing for 1 on 1 opportunities for outside attackers later on. After dropping set 1 the Parkland Pacers were in a tough position behind late in game 2. A crucial service ace and a couple of long rally wins allowed them to flip the score and steal the set from the Celtics. Similar to the semi-final earlier in the day, the Celtics were able to regroup with a strong performance in the 3rd and final game closing out the match with a transition kill to become the 2016 Big Red Champions!