The MacGregor Collegiate (MCI) junior varsity boys volleyball team didn't quite reach their ultimate goal but are still very happy with the success they had. The MacGregor Mustangs finished in third place at the provincial tournament this past weekend.

MCI fell to the Rosenort Redhawks in the semi-final, despite having taken them down in pool play. The Mustangs went on to defeat the Hamiota Huskies in three sets in the third-place game.

"Somebody was telling me, 'There's only two teams that go home winning their last game, and you guys were one of them,'" says head coach Marc Gaudet. "I was really proud of them, especially in that bronze medal game. We lost the first set, and we could've just folded our tents there but we never quit all year. We were the hardest working team there, I figure. Coming home with a medal was a really good way to end the season."

Gaudet says while they won many games this year, including their zone championship, that's not what this year was about. The best part of the season, according to the head coach, was the positive attitude all of the players showed up with each and every day.

Kai Gaudet was named a tournament all-star for his impressive play at the event. He says it was a special moment to receive that kind of recognition but he gives a ton of credit to his teammates for making it all possible.

"It's special to go to provincials. We worked as hard as we could and tried as hard as we could," Kai explains. "So, I think, we're all pretty happy finishing in third place."

Kai Gaudet with his all-star award.Kai Gaudet with his all-star certificate.

After their loss in the semi-finals, MacGregor had to immediately play their third-place game with basically no rest in between other than the warmup.

"That's always hard. If you ask anybody who loses and then has to play an important game, it's always hard to turn around and play," Kai continues. "We had to work even harder because it was all mental. We had to work hard to get back into the game."

With this being the junior varsity team, Kai believes the varsity team next season will see a lot of returning players and be a force to be reckoned with once again.

"It was a very special group, and we all enjoyed hanging out. I think we'll have a very special program for the next few years."