Brant Bosiak (7) of the Dauphin Clippers blocks the ball during the Spartan Dig volleyball tournament boys championship final at Neelin High School on Saturday evening. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
The Dauphin Clippers showed an incredible ability to bounce back from adversity at the Spartan Dig high school volleyball tournament on Saturday.
After losing all three of their group-round matches Friday, the Clippers’ varsity boys — ranked fourth in the AAA division — dug deep to win three playoff matches on Saturday to reach the final.
Two of those wins came against the Gabrielle Roy Les Roy — third in the AAA ranking — and the eighth-ranked Sanford Sabres.
The Clippers wound up swept 2-0 (25-18, 25-20) by the John Taylor Pipers in the tournament final at Neelin, but that didn’t matter to head coach Taylor Schmidt.
"The fact we came back today and went 3-and-0 into the final, it was a great tournament," said Schmidt, who used five different starting lineups on Friday.
"The boys were able to turn it around and make it all the way to the final and we ended up playing some of our best volleyball this season so far."
Part of the reason for Dauphin’s turnaround was the arrival of left side Logan Thacker, who missed the round-robin matches while playing for the Clippers football team.
While the Clippers would have liked to have won the gold, the team believes it gained a lot from making the final.
The Pipers are a AAAA team that’s ranked 10th in the province and they don’t have many weaknesses on the court.
Dauphin’s Luke Fafard, who was named to the tournament all-star team along with teammate Brant Bosiak, believes his team played well in the final and can build off of it as the Clippers prepare for a run at a provincial title next month.
"We’ve never seen them before and it was a nice change to see a different team and play someone from that level and to be seeing other teams that are really good," he said.
"It was a nice change and I think we’re all pretty pleased with how we performed."
The Souris Sabres fell to the Niverville Panthers 2-1 (20-25, 25-20, 15-7) in the B side final.
Meanwhile in the varsity girls side of the tournament, the Dauphin Clippers fell 2-1 (25-15, 14-25, 15-13) to the Westgate Wings in Saturday’s championship final.
The Shoal Lake Sharks fell in the B-side final 2-1 (24-26, 25-11, 15-11) to the Green Valley Pirates.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 29, 2012