women hit volleyball over net in volleyball game

Photo by Railene Hooper

By Mia Hildebrandt

After undergoing a 15-game losing streak, NAIT’s women’s volleyball team were faced with a do-or-die situation; they had to win out their season just to qualify for provincials and that is exactly what they did.

The Ooks headed to Medicine Hat to play their conference quarter final game against the Briercrest Clippers and unfortunately lost in tight sets, sending them to the consolation side where they played the Ambrose Lions and also lost in what was a close affair.

“It was a really great opportunity for teams across the province to come together and play each other, especially the north and south leagues who normally don’t get to play each other until provincials,” said Anna Atcheynum, a second year outside hitter.

Although the outcome wasn’t exactly what NAIT was hoping for, they are excited about how the opportunity can help them going forward.

“I think getting back to conference championships will definitely be an incentive for the players next year to work hard,” said Victoria Ringuette, the fourth-year captain of the Ooks.

Despite losing two close games the team was happy with their performance throughout the tournament.

“I think we put in a really good effort and played hard, it really shows how far we’ve come from the start of the season,” said Atcheynum.

“I think for our team it went really well and a lot of the first and second years got really great experience,” said Julia Donnelly, a fourth-year outside hitter.

Although scores may have said otherwise, the experience of provincials helped the team end their season on a high note.

“I think what made it special this year was the group of girls that we had on the team, it just felt like a family and we really wanted to win for each other and not just as individuals,” said Donnelly.

“Unfortunately we didn’t get any wins but I think we came together when it mattered and we took the top team to some hard points and almost gave them a run for their money,” said Ringuette.

“We had so many memorable moments and big games, I really appreciate that we were so close as a team and I think it really made my last year more enjoyable…As a fourth-year it was a really great way to end my career at NAIT,’’ said Donnelly.

The NAIT Ooks women’s volleyball team are looking forward to building on their late-season surge and galvanizing their execution for the 2020-2021 season of ACAC competition.