Owls’ volleyball squads excited for the playoffs after triple wins

Jamie Mountain

They were a dominant force all season and the Rainy River Owls’ junior girls’ volleyball team finished the NorWOSSA ‘A’ regular season off strong as they won all three of their final league games last week at RRHS.

Those wins gave the Owls a perfect 10-0 record and a first-place bye to the NorWOSSA final, which is slated for tomorrow in Atikokan.

Rainy River will face the winner of today’s semifinal between the second-place Pelican Falls Timberwolves (7-3) and third-place host Voyageurs (6-4).

“I can not put into words how proud I am of these ladies for how well they have done in the season,” Owls’ coach Hayley Arpin enthused.

“At the end of the day, they’re the ones who put in the work, the drive, the passion into being successful each game. They’re always wanting to improve and always working hard and that’ll take them far.

“I couldn’t be more proud and thankful for such an amazing group of girls I’ve had the honour to coach,” she lauded.

“I think the girls should be incredibly proud of themselves because I know I am. As with every game, I have high expectations for my team and I always find that they exceed them.

“I truly want these girls to realize how far they’ve come in this season and I want them to play with their hearts in this championship game,” Arpin stressed.

“Our team has set goals and I’m excited to see them hopefully reach those goals.”

The Owls opened play last week with a 2-0 sweep of the Red Lake Rams (1-9) on Tuesday. The set scores were 25-21 and 25-9.

Rainy River then followed that up with a hard-fought 2-1 win over the Timberwolves the following day in a match that counted for two wins in the standings.

After dropping the first set 25-8, the Owls rattled off set wins of 25-14 and 25-20 to claim the match.

Then in the regular-season finale on Thursday, Rainy River finished off a perfect season in league play with a dominating 2-0 sweep of the Ignace Falcons (1-9) that also counted for two wins in the standings.

The Owls rode some great serving to an 11-0 lead in the first set before taking it by a 25-8 count.

Then after claiming the match with a 25-11 win in the second set, Rainy River finished things off by also taking the third exhibition set by a 25-5 margin.

“Our match against Pelican Falls had a really slow start and the Pelican Falls’ team gave us some good competition,” Arpin noted.

“But we pulled out the win in the end, we really dug deep and played our game which helped us be successful. The other two matches weren’t as challenging as the Pelican Falls game, but they were still good opportunities for us to try out some new things and got more wins under our belt.”

As for the senior squad, they finished the year off by also winning their last three matches of the year to sneak into this week’s playoffs with a 6-4 record.

The Owls opened play last week with a 3-0 sweep of the Rams (2-8) on Tuesday at RRHS.

The set scores were 25-20, 25-15 and 25-22.

Rainy River then followed that up with another 3-0 sweep of the Timberwolves (1-9) the following day.

The set scores were 25-15, 25-20 and 25-15.

The Owls then were awarded a forfeit win over the Falcons (3-7) in the regular-season finale on Thursday, a game which also counted for two wins in the standings.