With four tournament titles to their credit this season, the coach of the Dawson Creek Volleyball Club Under-13 team couldn't be happier with his players and their progress since January.
"Overall, we exceeded the expectations that I had as far as skill development. I think everything came together this weekend (in Fort St. John). I am very happy and very encouraged about the future with these girls. They did much better than I had expected," said Dynamite coach Steve Oliver.
The team played in seven tournaments this season. Some were local, such as the home tournament in mid-April at South Peace Secondary School or the Fort St. John season-ender this past weekend, while others were farther away in larger centres such as Red Deer and Calgary.
The Dawson Creek team's last trip south was for the Alberta championship a week and a half ago in Red Deer. The local girls ended up sixth of 14 teams. That wasn't quite as high as the team would have liked; going into the contest, Oliver's goal was a slightly higher finish perhaps top four. The Dynamite played well on the first day of action, but later stumbled and lost to a weaker team and that hurt their overall finish.
"My goal for the tournament was to be top four, so we just missed out; albeit, we were pretty close and played the best we played all year on Saturday."
But, overall, there is much to celebrate, said Oliver, pointing to the four tournament titles the team won in the January-May club season, including this past weekend's title in Fort St. John where the girls went undefeated.
"That is a great accomplishment for these girls," said Oliver.
"We played in a lot more tournaments than last year, and the more they played, the more they improved."
This summer the team members will be scattered throughout Alberta at elite volleyball camps in places such as Sylvan Lake, Grande Prairie and Calgary.