Only a select amount of grade 12 volleyball players get invited to the Graduating High School All-Star game every December. The exact number is 30 and the selected are chosen based on their performance with their respective school team throughout the season.
The Gilbert Plains Collegiate will be sending three players to play in the game, one of which is, Paige Gaber. The Gilbert Plains native will call Winnipeg her home this weekend as the banquet and game takes place on Saturday.
"It felt pretty amazing to find out I was chosen. I didn't expect it at all," said Gaber. "I'm really excited; it's going to be an amazing experience for all of us to go."
"I improved on and off the court throughout the season and it's nice to know that my hard work paid off," she added.
Gaber will be joined by her teammates, Mackenzie Zatylny and Grace Bonham. The three have been playing for several years together including the last four at the high school level and now they'll do so one more time among some of the best in the province.
"Yeah, it's going to be pretty amazing. I'm so excited to play with Mackenzie and Grace one more time," she continued.
On top of Gilbert Plains Collegiate, the event will feature players from 14 other schools from the "A" rank to the "AAA" ranks. The list of players also includes Marly Pellerin who helped the Neelin girls win the "AAA" provincials over the weekend.
"I'm kind of anxious. It's going to be good playing with other girls," Gaber added. "I've played with the same girls basically my whole life, so it's going to be a new and fun experience playing with different ones."
Paige found out prior to her provincials that she made the team and that she would head to Winnipeg with the best. However, it wasn't something she was really even thinking about. The only thing over the weekend that was on Paige's mind was winning a provincial title with the Trojans varsity girls’ team.
In the end, that's exactly what Paige and the team did. They went undefeated to win their second straight provincial title and third straight dating back to junior varsity.
Paige was a force on the court as per usual and she was named a game-star during one of the team's games.
"I can't even explain the feeling, it's just so amazing," she continued. "We didn't expect to do it three years in a row. It sure feels good to have those three gold medals."
Paige's high school volleyball days may come to an end this weekend. However, that doesn't mean she won't be playing volleyball at the next level. She was approached by the coach of the Assiniboine Community College Cougars from Brandon at the provincials in Riverton. Paige isn't sure if that's where she will head, but it's a door that has certainly opened for her.
"It feels pretty good. It was pretty great to chat with the coach and to hear him talk about everything," Gaber concluded.
As mentioned above, Grace and Mackenzie are also heading to the banquet and game this weekend and you can stay tuned to hear from them later this week.