The volleyball season is over at the Steinbach Regional Secondary School.
The Sabres lost out in four sets to the Dakota Lancers in the semifinals of the Provincial AAAA High School Varsity Boys semifinal Thursday night in Winnipeg at the University of Manitoba’s Investors Group Athletic Centre.
“We knew it would be a battle,” said SRSS coach Greg Loeppky. “When we were done, coach Hudson came up to us and said, ‘Wow, were your boys ready to play.’ We win that third one and it’s anybody’s game.”
Coach Phil Hudson’s Lancers reeled off the final four points and captured the first set 25-22.
The Sabres pulled off a rally of their own in the second set.
Steinbach Regional stormed back from an early 8-2 deficit and beat Dakota 25-22.
The pivotal third set went to the Lancers 31-29.
“It’s tough,” said coach Loeppky. “You got a couple of swings to win it and you’re anticipating jumping up in the air and celebrating and going to a potentially last fourth set. It’s disappointing but our guys went down swinging. They showed up tonight, they competed and that’s what we wanted. We gave ourselves a chance to win. If we play them tomorrow night maybe we beat them 3-1.”
A second comeback wasn’t in the works as Dakota Collegiate went on a 10-2 run to go up 16-4 and ended the Sabres season with a 25-14 fourth set victory.
“We knew they were a tough team coming in and we would have to play our game and play strong,” said SRSS setter Trae Peters shortly after the conclusion of the semifinal. “They have a couple of good players that can really put the ball away so blocking was key. We got some good blocks on them but they put the ball away.”
Coach Loeppy’s final thoughts on the evening were directed to his four grade 12’s.
“Dean Fehr, Trae Peters, Trayton Lepp and Nick Unger - I’ve coached those guys for three years now. To come down to this one after three years, they all came up to me and said, ‘Coach I can’t believe this is the last one,’ so it’s pretty special. The grade 11’s, they can be back here next year. They can at least console themselves with the fact they can return next year.”