Wednesday, 26 November 2014 14:11

Millar College edges out SunDogs for men’s PAC title

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The Millar Edge were just that little sharper and were able to capture the Prairie Athletic Conference men’s volleyball title Nov. 14-15 with a win over a group of plucky Great Plains College SunDogs at Saskatchewan Polytechnic Saskatoon (formerly Kelsey SIAST).

Millar beat the SunDogs, who had an outstanding tournament, in five games.
Kevin Peters, Millar athletic director and coach, says the final match was a real back and forth battle.
“One of the bigger things for us this year was the ability to be consistent in our play … Even when we have been down in games they have had the focus to fight their way back,” explains Peters. “We lost the first game.  GPC played well and kept us on our toes with timely hitting and roll shots. We had beat them the previous game with great blocking of their top player and solid defence. This time around we were a bit too conservative, making mistakes off of being a bit timid.  Game 2 and Game 3 we started to play well (with) great defence and strong serving. We definitely saw a shift in momentum that flowed through the final two games even though we lost a close fourth one. (The) fifth set everything seemed to click as the team rolled to the championship.”
The scores were 18-25, 25-18, 25-20, 23-25 and 15-8. Matt Beutler from Millar earned the tournament’s Most Valuable Player Award.
Peters says the tournament was a double elimination draw and teams were ranked by league standings.  Millar got a bye into the quarter finals. where they beat Prairie Bible College from Three Hills two straight and then played Great Plains in the semi-final. Great Plains having only lost once went down to the B-side to play Sask. Polytechnic Saskatoon before making it to the five-game final against Millar.
The men’s team were solid throughout the year and their coach says the team from Pambrun were never rattled. It was the calm approach which allowed them to not panic in that final match where the SunDogs were giving them fits. They didn’t waver, much like the earlier part of the season.
“I think a big part of the consistency this year was the veteran leadership we had. Losing in the fifth game at provincials last year really taught our team a lot about being an even-keel team and keeping our focus on one play at a time,” says Peters. “Last year, we let the nerves get to us and this group was determined to stick with the game plan and trust each other. The other thing was the team unity … all 13 guys bought into what we wanted to do and were very unselfish in making it happen.”
Peters was proud of his squad not only because of winning, but it was an enjoyable group to work with and teach. They were an especially hardworking group.
“Well anytime you can win a provincial championship there is a special feeling that comes with that, but this one is definitely up there knowing how hard the boys worked in practice and off the court to make this happen,” says Peters. “Some years you have to try and motivate the guys to get through practice and the lulls of the season … but this team has pushed all the way through.  Teams like that definitely make it a joy to coach.”
The Millar women were fourth in league and ended up fourth at provincials. It seems like they are getting stronger as the season is going on and hopes are they surprise some teams at Westerns. Peters was really encouraged by the coaching they have been getting from Missy McComish (former player and assistant) who took over from Peters. Kelsey won the women’s title.
Both teams are headed to Westerns that are in Moose Jaw this coming weekend.
Basketball is starting at Millar in December. First action for the teams will be an exhibition tournament held by Millar College Jan.9-10.  Peters is coaching both basketball teams, a job he has enjoyed since 1998.

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Ryan Dahlman

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