Image supplied by Rhinos Facebook page. The U14 girls finish 4th at the Premier 2 tournament.
The Rhinos volleyball club is enjoying a successful start to their season, with teams looking forward to one or two tournaments remaining in the calendar.
There has been strong play and positive strides from the club volleyball players this year.
At the opening tournament of season, Premier 1, the Rhinos Black (Bonnyville) finished tied for 5th, only losing in the quarterfinal, and White (Cold Lake) ended up tied for 13th overall in 49 teams.
The U14 squads had a great showing at the Premier 2 tournament in Calgary. The Rhino Black team entered the tournament in late March riding high after achieving unparalleled success in the club’s history.
“That’s actually the first Division 1 gold medal that the club’s ever locked down. Now granted, it was just the North Division teams only because it’s Premier 1, but still, we’ve never been able to do it before,” said Scott Cameron, Rhinos club president.
The Rhino Black squad went undefeated in the round-robin before losing their first game of the season against Canada West Black. They finished fourth in a 78-team field, falling in the bronze medal match.
“Going into Premier 2 for them to get a fourth place finish was really, really good. And actually they were the highest finishing North team if you look at the results,” said Scott Cameron.
Rhino White entered the tournament as the North’s top seed in Division 2 after a 9th place finish at Premier 1.
After a couple of round-robin losses, they rattled off wins over NAVC Griffins, then Fog Black to claim the fifth spot in Division 2 and 21st overall in the 78-team field.
Their final tournament is Provincials April 13-14.
After a disappointing result at Premier 1, Rhinos Black looked to bounce back at the Premier 2 tournament and promote from Division IV.
They did just that by going 3-0 in pool play, then booked their ticket to the Top-8 with a crossover win over Whitecourt Revz.
The U15 Rhino Black squad beat Riot in the quarter-finals, Diggers Black in the semi and Fernie VC in the gold medal match to end the weekend undefeated and earn promotion to Division III for the Premier 3 tournament.
Rhinos White claimed 10th spot in Division II.
The girls went 1-2 in pool play and refocused on Sunday with three-set wins over RMVC and Nooks to get into the consolation final vs. Fog Black. White fought valiantly but fell 14-16 in the third set to stake claim to 10th spot in Division II, a four position improvement, said Cameron.
U16 Premier 2 weekend saw team Black knock off some of the biggest names in Division I on route to a 9th overall finish, while White finished tied for 7th in Division III.
The U18 men showed signs of steady growth during the Premier 2 tournament.
Their sixth place finish in Division II improved on their Premier 1 result by four spots to finish the event in 6th place.
Three straight wins in pool play, and wins over the Edson Renegades, PRVC Revolution, and ACVC Steel, it was an undefeated day with a Sunday morning quarterfinal booked against Red Deer’s Kings 17.
They fell in the quarterfinal but worked themselves back into position a 5th place position by defeating Edmonton’s SAS 17 before they fell to the Grande Prairie Wolves 17.
U15 and older teams have the Premier 3 tournament and Nationals in mid-May.