Two local junior boys volleyball teams competed in the mid-island championship tournament held at Gulf Islands Secondary School last Tuesday.
The A team won the tournament, with six match wins and zero losses. They will be advancing to the island championships held this weekend at the high school. The B team also did well, as the young squad netted their first ever win against Queen of Angels School.
This was the first playoff tournament for the teams, and both showed significant improvement over the beginning of the season.
“Many of the ‘B’ team players hadn’t played volleyball at all before last month, and some hadn’t really played organized team sports before,” said coach Doug Clayton. “Great progress overall.”
“As they started as complete rookies, it’s pretty exciting to see them starting to play better and better volleyball,” he added.
The B team’s win was a big step forward for the boys. They have had close games in the past, including some where they scored over 20 points.
“The boys were jubilant, and understandably so,” Clayton said. “Finally coming out on top was a massive group accomplishment.”
The win also primed the boys for next season, since players from the B team will be moving up to the Junior A team. Clayton explained that Queen of Angels is one of GISS’ biggest rivals and the win will inspire the local boys to improve even more for next season.
Based on their performance at the tournament, the A team is poised to do well in this week’s island championships tournament where they will be competing against teams from across the island region. The winner of the competition will advance to provincials in Kamloops later in November.
“That will be very good volleyball,” said A-team coach Kellie Booth. “It will be very exciting because the teams will be much more closely matched. It should be some good ball.”
This year, GISS was able to put in two junior teams because of a large class advancing from the middle school. Booth explained that having that many boys playing will be a “very positive thing going forward for the program.”
“These kids have really shone. Volleyball, because you’re in such a small space and it’s a fairly complex sport, you have to work together. It’s the epitome of a team sport . . . It’s not like other sports where one player can take the ball to the other end and score. That can’t happen in volleyball,” she added. “I’m just so pleased and proud of them all.”
The A team will be competing this Friday at 1:45, 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday game times are to be determined.