The Cochrane Cobras senior girls and boys volleyball teams have their eyes locked on the Rocky View Sports Association championships, with both set to face off in the division's final games at home Nov. 16.
The senior girls won 25-16, 25-16 and 25-17 in their first, second and third sets versus the George McDougall Mustangs.
The senior boys won in three sets with scores of 25-17, 25-17 and 25-10 in their game against the Chestermere Lakers in a double-header RVSA semi-final at Cochrane High School Nov. 9.
Both teams have also gone undefeated in their regular seasons and are ranked first in the league.
Grade 12 senior girls co-captain Kas Trenke and setter Sara Harris said they are grateful to be back on the court in their final year of high school.
"It's definitely been really good to play this year, especially with not having a season last year," said Harris. "Most of the Grade 12's couldn't play their last season, so it's been really awesome to be back. I'm loving it."
Trenke added that the chemistry of their team, with all of them having played together pre-pandemic, is a contributor to their success this season.
"We're just so tight as a team, which helps a lot," she said. "It's nice to be able to play with the girls we played with in Grade 9 all the way through to Grade 12."
Head coach Esther Sieben also credits the team's success to the hard work they put in after hours at practice each week.
"It's such a good group of girls, they have good chemistry on the court and they have good chemistry off the court and that makes coaching very easy," she said. "They work hard and I believe good things come to those who work hard."
Daniel Hasiek, head coach for the senior boys, said that despite some mid-season injuries on the team and missing a starter who was out sick the night of the game, the boys still made a great show of their semi-final game.
"Tonight our standout players would probably have to be Ray Belanger and our centre, Noah [Visvanathan]," he said. "They were the most dominant in this particular game."
Hasiek praised the team for their ability to immediately turn around and put all their practice into play.
"Whenever we work on something, that shows up on that weekend in the tournament or that week's regular-season game," he said.
Just this past weekend, both the senior girls and boys played in Strathmore's Spartan Invitational, where Hasiek said the boys celebrated their biggest accomplishment this season.
"There were two really big teams that we were looking to play against, and that's Holy Trinity Academy in Okotoks and Lethbridge Collegiate Institute (LCI). Lethbridge rocked us at provincials in 2019 and so we really wanted to see where we're at because we're hoping to go to provincials after zones. Well, we won against LCI so that was huge for us."
The team is now set to play against Springbank at home Nov, 16 in the RVSA divisional final at 7:30 p.m. Grade 12 left side player Evan Ficzere said it means a lot to him and many players on the team to be able to play sports in general.
"There's one guy on our team from Ontario that moved out here because he wanted an opportunity to play volleyball because it's way stricter in Ontario," he said. "It's nice to finally get a season."
The senior girls will face off against W.H. Croxford for the RVSA championship the same evening as the boys, at 6 p.m. at Cochrane High School.