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Mount Royal Cougars win provincial volleyball championship PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 February 2011 10:04

Coach says confidence and team chemistry help capture gold medal

The Mount Royal University Cougars defeated the Grand Prairie Regional College Wolves to claim the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference women’s volleyball championship on Sunday.

Mount Royal defeated both NAIT and Red Deer College in the semi-finals to advance to the finals held at Mount Royal University this past weekend. Grand Prairie Regional College faced Medicine Hat College and Lakeland College, and won both games to move on to the final.

The Mount Royal Cougars defeated the Grand Prairie Regional College Wolves for the provincial championship.
Courtney Urbani/Calgary Journal

Ron Thomson, head coach of the Grand Prairie Wolves says he was prepared for a challenging championship game. “Mount Royal is a strong team and I know it’s going to be a tough game. But I’m confident in my players; we have beat Mount Royal before and we can do it again.”

Grand Prairie started out strong, winning the first set 25-21. Mount Royal won the next two sets – both by a score of 25-23. In the fourth set Grand Prairie won 25-20 to tie up the game.

The fifth set was dominated by Mount Royal, who settled the game with a stunning 15-6 victory – and a gold medal.

Sandra Lamb, head coach of the Cougars, says she was confident in her team after the third set. “We just had to believe and trust in what we were doing. In the end, we started to battle and keep the ball on their side, which is what mattered most.”

Diyon Van Nistelrooy is in her last year as a Cougar and her coach Sandra Lamb says she played a major role in Mount Royal’s victory.

“To go from a fourth place finish last year to a first place finish this year is so awesome. There’s no better way for me to go out than to win the league championship with Mount Royal,” Van Nistelrooy says.

Lamb says the key to the Cougar’s success was working together and improving on their ball skills since the beginning of the season.

“We have improved on our confidence and our team chemistry. That has allowed us to pass and distribute the ball a lot better than we were earlier in the season,” Lamb says.

Lamb says she is proud of her Mount Royal players: “It was a really tough game but the girls stuck to the plan. Both sides battled hard, which is what we expected but our players came out on top with a well-earned victory.”

Red Deer College finished with a bronze medal after a victory over Lakeland College.

The Mount Royal Cougars are now in pursuit of a national championship title.