When the Robert Moore grade eight girls’ volleyball team captured the gold medal at a tournament in Whitefish Bay on Saturday, it set a mark that will be difficult to match in elementary school volleyball.
Their victory—a 25-13 and 25-5 sweep over Mine Centre in the final—gave Robert Moore at least one tournament title for each of its grade seven and eight boys’ and girls’ teams.
Four different teams. Four gold medals.
The grade seven girls’ team captured gold on their home court, the grade seven boys were tops in Atikokan, and the grade eight boys claimed first place at Crossroads.
“I think it is difficult to win four golds with the different levels of play, the different tournaments, and at different times of the season,” grade eight girls’ coach Cynthia Donald noted.
Donald said her team played some strong volleyball last weekend to take the tournament in Whitefish Bay.
“The girls are very dedicated and easy to work with,” she added, noting the team practices about three hours each week. “They’ve just been getting better and better.
“They’ve always had the skills [but sometimes] they would get nervous and make silly mistakes,” she continued. “But they were very consistent with their serving and they played very good defence [this weekend].”
Robert Moore cruised through the round-robin portion of the tournament with a 5-1 record, earning wins over Whitefish Bay #1 (25-19), Lakewood (25-16), Crossroads #1 (25-22), Whitefish Bay #2 (25-8), and Crossroads #2 (25-8).
Their lone loss was a 25-20 setback to Mine Centre, which finished the round-robin with a 6-0 mark for an automatic bye into the final.
That set up a best-of-three semi-final showdown between second-place Robert Moore and third-place Lakewood (Kenora), which they swept by identical 25-17 scores to advance.
Robert Moore’s other coaches—Bill Daley (grade eight boys), Cam Keast (grade seven boys), and Dianne Thompson and Cathy Baron (grade seven girls)—said part of their success is the fact their players have been encouraged to attend the International Peace Garden and Voyageur volleyball camps.
“Traditionally, we have one team winning a gold medal [but] our gym’s going everyday,” Keast said. “To have four teams win is pretty special.”