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Battling for the crown

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Rankin V Team defeated the Rankin Fusion to claim the female crown of the Laura Gauthier Memorial (LGM) volleyball tournament in front of a frenzied crowd in Rankin Inlet earlier this month.

NNSL photo/graphic

The 2012 Laura Gauthier Memorial female volleyball champion Rankin V Team are Holly Mercer, Toota Tatty and Gloria Uluqsit, back row from left, and Krista Zawadski, Adriana Kusugak, Veronica Tattuinee, Kandace Kusugak and Reanna SateanaCollier, front row from left. - photo courtesy of Veronica Tattuinee

Naujaat (Repulse Bay) defeated Rankin's Red Bull to capture the men's crown, with the Rankin Elementary Team taking bronze in the men's division and Gjoa Haven capturing the bronze on the women's side of the ledger.

Nine men's teams and six women's teams competed at this year's event, with teams from Pond Inlet, Baker Lake and Whale Cove also taking part, as well as individual players from Iqaluit and other communities who played on various squads.

Six men's teams and five women's teams from Rankin took to the court, while officials from Winnipeg, Yellowknife, Baker Lake and Rankin called the action.

The Iqaluit men's and women's squads, as well as the women's team from Panniqtuuq, didn't make it due to bad weather in the Baffin Region.

Devon Aviugana of Repulse was named the most valuable player in the male division, while the V Team's Reanna Sateana took the honour in the women's division.

Fusion's Sharon Sateana and Red Bull's Nuvak Noolook took the women's and men's most sportsmanlike awards, respectively.

The LGM is a special time for V Team honorary member Veronica Tattuinee. The team took the V for Veronica when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and could no longer suit up with the squad.

Tattuinee, 48, said volleyball has played a big part of her life since high school.

She said being able to stay involved with the game as an honourary member of the V Team means a lot to her.

"I don't do a whole lot with volleyball throughout the year any more, but, when the LGM tournament draws near, I start helping and getting involved as part of the LGM committee," said Tattuinee.

"The girls on the V Team made me an honorary player/member, or whatever you want to call it, and gave me a shirt with the V Team on it to keep me involved with the game."

Tattuinee said it can still be difficult sitting at court side during big games. She said her competitive spirit kicks in and she'd love to be out on the court with the team.

"Holly Mercer and I used to be the team's two setters before I had to stop playing in 2006.

"I don't always go to the gym throughout the year, but I always wish I was playing when the tournament comes.

"This year I was the photographer, and I also updated all the scores on the Laura Gauthier volleyball page on Facebook.

"I really enjoy doing that because the tournament is, pretty much, Nunavut-wide now, and staying involved with something you love is important."

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