The Central Cyclones had the best local volleyball season in nearly a generation, but unfortunately they ended it with a loss.
The Cyclones became the first Moose Jaw team to win a provincial volleyball medal since the mid-’90s Saturday, but they dearly wanted to be the first local team to win a provincial title since 1980.
The Cyclones lost the SHSAA 5A boys provincial final 25-19, 25-17 to Regina Campbell.
“By far this was the best season I’ve ever had,” said Central coach Shaune Gray. “There’s no comparison — winning six tournaments, winning regionals, winning cities and second at provincials.
“They’re an amazing group of kids. They were fun to coach.”
All of those achievements made the loss in the final a bitter pill to swallow.
The Cyclones won everything there was to win throughout the year and didn’t lose a match at provincials in North Battleford until the final against Campbell.
“Campbell came out and played very strong. They had one kid who stepped up and played one of the best games he has ever played. We couldn’t stop him,” said Gray. “They served very well on us. We had some trouble with our passing and our serving, so we didn’t get to attack as much as we normally do.”
Gray said there was disappointment and it was tough loss for the seniors in particular, but that finishing second was still a great accomplishment.
“They played well all weekend,” said Gray. “It’s tough to get there. We had to work hard.”
In the semifinal, the Cyclones beat Meadow Lake Carpenter 2-0 (25-17, 25-17) after the two teams battled hard in pool play.
The Cyclones dropped their first game of the tournament in a 2-1 (20-25, 25-14, 25-18) win over Saskatoon Bishop James Mahoney in the quarter-final.
Central was perfect in the round robin as they topped their pool. The beat
Saskatoon St. Joseph 2-0 (25-12, 25-23), North Battleford 2-0 (25-18, 25-15), Regina LeBoldus 2-0 (25-14, 25-8) and Meadow Lake 2-0 (29-27, 25-20).