They needed to split a pair of matches against the Medicine Hat College Rattlers this weekend at the Ralph Klein Centre to clinch the final berth in the ACAC South.
The Broncos did so on Feb. 19, winning 3-0.
“Tonight was just about making sure we’re of that mindset of taking care of details and letting some girls have an opportunity to play. We did that and didn’t come out on the winning side but that’s all right. We’ve got another week to play,” said head coach Chris Wandler, after a 3-2 loss the next afternoon in a match that allowed him to rest several starters.
“But it helps to put a little bit of pressure on us so we know, going into the playoffs, we can handle it,” said middle Brooklynn Gathercole, one of the team’s nine graduating players.
Wandler’s team closes the regular season 13-11, finishing fourth.
This weekend, from Feb. 25-27, they travel to Red Deer College, this year’s host for the ACAC women’s volleyball championship.
Their first opponent will be The King’s University, which finished first in the North with a 21-3 record.
Wandler said his team isn’t intimidated.
“The grittiness of the South has allowed us to play playoff volleyball for the better part of February … we’re well prepared for them. Our mindset’s good. We’re confident.”
Gathercole will graduate from Olds College’s business administration program. She plans to return home to Coaldale or the Lethbridge area after picking up skills in accounting, marketing, sales and general management.
She leaves Olds with good experiences.
“I really enjoyed it. I grew a lot, met a lot of great people and played some good volleyball,” she said. “The girls are all my close friends, that’s always a positive. Good to have a little family away from home.”