Western Canadian Challenge underway

Justian Csizmadia sends the ball back over the net in game 1 against Beaverlodge Thursday afternoon. The MCHS Wolves won the contest 25-20 and followed it up with a crushing 25-8 victory.

Photos by Stephen Dafoe and Lucie Roy

Morinville – One of the largest high school volleyball tournaments in Canada began Thursday afternoon at Morinville Community High School.

The Lions’ Western Canadian Challenge (WCC) Volleyball Tournament puts 48 teams on the volleyball court over three days. In addition to 46 teams from Alberta, the tournament will host two teams from Manitoba.

This year marks the 19th year the tournament has taken place. The school welcomes parents and other spectators to the three-day tournament.

The series kicked off Thursday morning with the Morinville Lions Club being drummed in to the gymnasium. In his opening speech, MCHS teacher Laverne Dewald said the school was fortunate to develop a great partnership with the Lions Clubs of Morinville and St. Albert. “That partnership has helped us provide very prestigious awards for our Champions,” he said. “It is our hope that the
Lions Western Canadian Challenge will allow opportunities to develop new friendships and create fond memories for a lifetime.”

More than 17,000 athletes, coaches, managers, referees have participated over the past 18 years. That number will grow larger at the conclusion of this year’s tournament.

This year the teams will be competing for top honours in four venues: MCHS, G.H. Primeau and Notre Dame School in Morinville and in St. Albert at Bellerose and St. Albert High. Last year’s Ladies’ Champions Ardrosssan and Men’s Champions Peace Wapati are back to defend their crowns.

School spirit was flying high for the event with students dressed or painted in school colours.

Thursday afternoon games saw the Lady Wolves defeated in two straight by Beaverlodge. The girls fell 25-5 and 25-7.

The Sr. Boys took to the court immediately after and faired much better, defeating Beaverlodge 25-20 and 25-8.

The MCHS Boys took to the court Thursday evening in back-to-back games and play Friday at 12:15 and 3:15.

Jordan Lane makes his serve for the Wolves

MCHS student Kyrsti MacDonald sings the National Anthem at the Opening Ceremonies of the 19th annual Lions Western Canadian Challenge Volleyball Tournament.

MCHS student Kaylee Holowaychuk shows her school spirit.

Lions Club members attend the opening ceremonies.

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