Fox Valley win eighth provincial title in nine years
The Fox Valley Legends boy’s volleyball team’s dominance continued when they won their eighth provincial championship in nine seasons at 2A provincials in Paradise Hill on Saturday.
The Legends, coached by Darren Lehmann, were undefeated in six matches at provincials, including a three-game victory over the host Paradise Hill squad (2521, 18-25, 25-21) to claim yet another provincial banner.
The Legends advanced to the finals with a win over Davidson (25-20, 27-25) in the semi-finals after earning a bye through the quarter-finals with a perfect 4-0 record in the round robin.
The Legends opened the round robin Friday with a pair of dominating wins over Leoville (25-14, 25-15) and Arcola (25-13, 25-7). Saturday the Legends downed St. Louis (25-21, 25-8) and Goodsoil (25-19, 24-26, 2517).
Grade 12 middle hitter Stephen Korol won his second provincial title to go along with a silver medal in 2007.
“This one was very nerveracking,” said Korol. “We actually had kind of a tough time winning this one. We took them to three sets and they beat us pretty bad in the second set so it wasn’t too sure that we were going to win. But we came out pretty strong in the third set and beat them by quite a few points.”
“In volleyball with our coach that is our all-time goal is to win provincials at the end of the year. That is what we go for every season at the end of the year on this team. We had a pretty good year, we didn’t lose too many games and we were pretty sure that we were going to win provincials again this year,” said Korol who hopes to continue playing next season at the post-secondary level yet but has not committed anywhere yet.
Power hitter Dylan Koch also captured his second provincial title.
“This year was a little bit more intense, last year we were a little bit more confident that we were going to win. But this year we thought we might have a little bit of a weaker team but all around it was good still I think,” he said.
Playing Paradise Hill in their home gym was no easy task he explained.
“It was their home barn and they have played there a lot so it was kind of intimidating I guess. But you just have to kind of zone that stuff out and play your game.”
The Legends achieved their goal of winning provincials despite being labeled as the ‘favorite’ throughout the season.
“We talked about it in practice that this is what we are working towards is going to provincials and getting the gold. We went to 5A tournaments that helped us along throughout the season so that when we got to provincials we would know what to expect,” said Koch, who is widely regarded as one of the province’s top players who also hopes to continue his volleyball career at the postsecondary level next season.
At 1A provincials in Ogema a pair of southwest teams missed out on the playoffs.
Kincaid finished in a three-way tie for second but missed the playoffs in fourth spot with a 2-2 record after the tie-breaking procedure.
Kincaid suffered losses to Avonlea (23-25, 17-25) and Borden (18-25, 25-18, 23-25) on Friday. But they rebounded Saturday with wins over Ogema (25-22, 25-6) and Englefeld (28-26, 22-25, 25-23) only to miss the playoffs.
Ponteix opened play Friday with losses to Annaheim (12-25, 17-25) and Allan (1425, 14-25). Saturday they remained winless with straight set losses to Mossbank (8-25, 9-25) and Bellevue (12-25, 13-25).
At 3A provincials in Ile-ala-Crose, Leader finished 0-4 and out of the playoffs.
Leader opened play Friday with a three-set loss to Wadena (25-21, 13-25, 1925) despite taking the first set. Next Leader fell to Wolseley (7-25, 9-25) to remain winless on day one. Saturday they fell in straight sets to Waldheim (9-25, 12-25) and Langenburg (16-25, 12-25).