One year after they brought home the school's first ever finalist banner, Steinbach Christian's varsity boys volleyball team captured the big prize Saturday in Warren.
The Flames defeated the Green Valley Pirates 25-14, 18-25, 15-12 in the final of the Provincial AA High School Championship.
"It’s a pretty special feeling not having ever won one before at this school so it means a lot to us, and our team was very emotional in the final," said Steinbach Christian left side hitter Jaxen Loeppky. "It was a tough game and it just feels so good to bring it home for our coach."
Flames coach Roger Harder watched his volleyball team fall one win short last year in Carman as the host Cougars swept Steinbach Christian 25-19, 25-20.
The Flames, who went undefeated in Warren, needed three sets to beat a Green Valley team they had played six times prior to the provincials and had won all six.
With a championship banner at stake - Loeppky said win number seven over the Pirates was the toughest.
"There was a lot of pressure not to lose in the provincial final. It was a really good game. There's a lot of respect between both teams and it was a lot of fun to play them again especially with both teams from the Zone. It was good to have both banners go to Zone 13."
That loss to Steinbach Christian was the Grunthal school's lone blemish on the weekend.
Loeppky, who recorded the stuff block on the championship winning point, admitted the team was a bit nervous in the deciding third set.
"There were nerves but we've comeback from losses in the second set before so I was confident in our team that we would step up and rise to the occasion and we definitely did. It was such a good feeling. The final block was so good and the emotion that came out after that point was unbelievable."
In order to reach the championship game, the Flames had to pull off a massive win over the host team as they went out and beat the number one seeded Wildcats 25-15, 21-25, 15-12 in the semifinals in Warren's home gym.
"It was super loud," said Loeppky. "That was probably the loudest gym I've every played in. I like the pressure of the home crowd and it was good to be able to beat them in such a close game."
Loeppky, who was one of six Grade 11 players on Steinbach Christian's championship team, said it was exciting to be selected the MVP of the provincials.
"There was a lot of emotion. Everybody on our team played super good and I think it could have gone either way. There were a couple of guys like Zane Brandt and Ian Penner who got the All-Stars who really rose up in that last game. They also deserved it as well."
Award Winners: left to right
All-Star - Ian Penner, Steinbach Christian
MVP - Jaxen Loeppky, Steinbach Christian
All-Star - Zane Brandt, Steinbach Christian
All-Star - Seth Wiebe, Green Valley
All-Star - Ezra Toews, Green Valley
All-Star - Mitch Allen, Warren
All-Star - Asa France, Warren
Players Choice - Bren Hunter, Warren