Local girls help make history at Canada Games

Matt Veno
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TRURO - The Nova Scotia female volleyball team was feeling a mix of emotions Sunday, a day after finishing fourth at the Canada Games on P.E.I.
The team dropped a straight sets (25-18, 25-22, 25-18) decision to Alberta Saturday to narrowly miss out on a bronze medal at the Games.
But at the same time, the fourth-place finish was the best ever for the province and was the first for any Atlantic Canadian territory since the New Brunswick boys came home fourth in 1979.
"It's a bit of both," said player and Truro native Lauren Sears when asked if the team was proud or disappointed. "We're disappointed we didn't medal but we're definitely proud of what we accomplished. But we accomplished the best finish after we beat Quebec so with two more games left it would have been nice to win one of those."
Nonetheless Sears, a 20-year-old who plays with the University of Manitoba Redmen, said she was honoured to be part of the team.
"Obviously it feels really good to be part of something that's never been done before," she said.
Coach Darren Russell, also from Truro, agreed, but added all the credit goes to his players, which also included Truro residents Hilary Sears, Ali Beaver and Anastasia Callaghan.
"I don't want any of the credit," he said. "These girls have sacrificed a lot on the last two years."
The team could have booked a spot in the final with a semifinal meeting against Manitoba Friday, but fell 3-0, setting the bronze medal tilt with Alberta. Manitoba went on to win gold in a 3-1 win over Ontario.
"Alberta came out strong and it was more their day than ours," Sears said. "Maybe on a different day, but not Saturday."
Russell said the team created quite a stir at the event, playing in front of packed crowds and garnering plenty of support for the underdog that kept upsetting powerhouses Quebec, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. The only games the Bluenosers dropped at the event were to the gold, silver and bronze medal winners.
"We accomplished so much for the province and for the sport of volleyball in Nova Scotia," Russell said.
Nova Scotia also narrowly missed a bronze in male soccer. The team was edged 2-1 by Ontario in the third-place contest. Marcus Greenlaw netted the lone Nova Scotia tally.
Truro's Sandy Hunter was a member of the team.
Ontario led the medal standings with 202, while Quebec (145) and B.C. (144) rounded out the top three. Nova Scotia was fifth with 52, 24 behind fourth-place Alberta.

Organizations: Canada Games on P.E.I., University of Manitoba Redmen

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Alberta, Quebec Ontario New Brunswick Manitoba Saskatchewan British Columbia

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