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Clippers girls open season in Regina

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The Dauphin Clippers varsity girls volleyball team opened its 2018 season at a tournament hosted by Sheldon-Williams Collegiate at the University of Regina, this past weekend.
The Clippers opened the tournament with a 25-23 and 25-20 win over Lumsden. They followed this up with a 16-25 and 13-25 loss to Weyburn.
Dauphin finished second in its pool thanks to a 25-13 and 25-8 win over the Sacred Heart Saints.
In the playoffs, the Clippers were bumped to the consolation side of the draw after dropping a 25-27 and 22-25 decision to Wynyard.
In the B-side quarterfinals, Dauphin beat Kipling, 25-19 and 25-21, then beat Rose Valley, 25-15 and 25-21 in the semifinals.
Dauphin then lost the B-side final to Weyburn in three sets, 16-25, 25-20 and 15-17, finishing 10th overall out of 32 teams.
Jeremy Love returned to coach the Clippers after taking a year off. He and his wife Tanya had coached the players from the time they were in Grade 7 and they decided they needed a break.
“Last year was good for about a month. And then I started to miss it,” he said.
In the spring, Love was approached by Ted Rea about returning to coach the varsity girls and Rea would serve as an assistant. So the two have reunited to guide the Clippers this season.
With a new set of players, Love said there is a learning curve for both the players and coaches.
“They don’t know me as a coach and I’m getting to know them. And so, there’s things that have to be worked through,” he said, adding the Clippers fell just short of his goal of a top-eight finish.
Overall, Love felt it was a great first tournament, with every player seeing time on the court.
“We were able to evaluate the players in game situations and learn a lot and get ready to move forward to make improvements,” he added.
The team has a couple of Grade 10 athletes, with the rest of the team comprised of an even split between Grade 11s and 12s.
“But at the same time, they’re all new. This is the first time we’ve ever worked together. So regardless if you’re a Grade 12 or not, there’s going to be different expectations that I expect from them that they have to learn. And so there’s a lot of learning going on both ways,” he said, adding working with new players is refreshing and exciting.
The Clippers will practice for the next three weeks before heading to a tournament in Selkirk, which Love feels will be their toughest tournament of the year facing AAAA teams.
“So we’re taking what we learned from the tournament and improving on those skills, because the Selkirk tournament will be very, very challenging,” he said.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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