Nationals are golden for WVBWomen’s volleyball already held the distinction of earning the only national medal in Lakeland Rustler history; a silver earned at home in 2013 during the college’s centennial year.
Now the women’s volleyball team has claimed the first national championship in a series of first and gold medals.
“It truly was a great week for Lakeland College and Rustlers athletics,” says Alan Rogan, Lakeland’s athletic director. "Every one of the 13 members of the team, along with the coaching staff contributed to winning a national championships for Lakeland College.”
The team’s provincial gold was also a first for Rustler league sports. Both curling and futsal earned ACAC gold, but they are both tournament sports. Along the way they defeated nationally ranked teams, including their northern conference leader, Grande Prairie Wolves.
Rankings didn’t mean much at the national championships in Victoria either. After a fifth set 17-15 win against the Atlantic Mount Saint Vincent Mystics, the Rustlers took on the reigning champs, Vancouver Island University. The Mariners had been ranked number one in the country the entire season. The Rustlers defense dug out all the big hitters and scored a 3-0 win.
In the championships, the Rustlers faced the host Camosun College Chargers. It was a flipped image of the 2013 championships in Lloydminster when the Rustlers faced a British Columbia team in the gold medal match in their home gym.
After a strong 2-0 start, the Rustlers dropped the third set with the Camosun fans rallying behind their team. That energy carried into the next set where the Rustlers found themselves down 18-12 before making a comeback and winning the set 27-25. The winning point came on a serve from Avery Maginel, who was the Rustler’s player of game with five kills, six digs and one block.
Four Rustlers were named to the CCAA tournament all-star team, Alyssa Grondin, Rae Sigurdson, Ahnika Kuse and Shelby Becker.
The team was welcomed home Sunday afternoon at the Lloydminster campus by family, friends and fans. They also got a mention on Rogers Hometown Hockey as the show was based in Lloydminster for the weekend.
Photos in the slideshow and galleries on Flickr are by ©KevinLIghtPhoto for the CCAA.
Gold medal game action - Rustlers vs Camosun - Flickr gallery
Gold medal celebration including medal presentations - Flickr gallery