The Steinbach Regional varsity girls volleyball team will play for a provincial high school championship banner.
The Sabres will meet the Lord Selkirk Royals Monday night at 6 p.m. in the final of the Provincial AAAA High School Varsity Girls Volleyball Championship at the Investors Group Athletic Center on the campus of the University of Manitoba in south Winnipeg.
The SRSS defeated the College Jeanne-Sauve Olympiens 19-25, 25-23, 25-15, 20-25, 15-10 Wednesday night at the U of M.
"Honestly, it was so exciting," remarked Sabres middle Grace Leclair shortly after the fifth set came to an end. "I hate but also love playing to five sets. It's so exciting but it's also so nerve-wracking."
"It was a tight, hard-fought match," added SRSS outside hitter Kiersten Reimer. "Our team played really loose and had a lot of fun."
With the Sabres leading 12-10 in the fifth set, Callie Andres served out the match.
Andres was named the Player of the Game.
On the 15th and final point, Steinbach Regional's Sienna Driedger took a set from Izzy Voth and her spike down the line cleared the block and went off the hands of CJS's Zoe Middleton and out of play, sending the Sabres to the Provincial AAAA final.
"I was so excited," said the SRSS captain. "I wasn't nervous in the least. I think I even yelled at Izzy, like let's do this. I've been so fired up. We've done such a good job of just taking it one game at a time. In the quarters, we wanted to make it to Final Four. There's one goal. What's our next goal? We wanted to make finals. Anything can happen because you're playing amazing teams. CJS played great and it was such a fun match."
Lord Selkirk swept Brandon's Vincent Massey Vikings 25-17, 25-15, 25-19 in the other semifinal.
Sabres head coach Amy Toews is looking forward to the challenge of playing the Royals, who are the number one seed, for the provincial championship banner.
"I think that we just need to prepare ourselves mentally more than anything else going into that game. We've obviously met them a few times this season and it's kind of gone both ways. They've experienced this atmosphere now and so hopefully they're a little less nervous going into that one. We're excited for the opportunity. I know we haven't had a varsity girls team make the finals before or even the Final Four at the AAAA level, so this is just a phenomenal experience for these girls."