Host boys face disappointment

Junior girls win islands tourney in Nanaimo

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The Gulf Islands Secondary School junior boys volleyball team ended their season at the island championship tournament held on Salt Spring over the weekend.

After a strong performance last week at the mid-island championships, the boys were well placed to impress this weekend, but fell just short of their goal. They lost their first two games, did well in their third on Friday, but were unable to advance to Saturday games and ended up placing seventh.

“They had a rough start,” said coach Kellie Booth. “They just didn’t play well in the first two matches that we played.”

The tournament was a step up in challenge compared to last week, where the team went undefeated. Though the boys had faced that kind of competition before, Booth said the pressures of playing at a high level on a home court may have been the reason for their slow start.

“It’s interesting because the senior group that I had last year had difficulty playing at home in front of friends and family. There’s distractions and what not,” she said. “I’d say we had a taste of that again with this group.”

Setter Reuben Wright was named the team’s all-star during the tournament. Booth said that Wright has two years of playing experience and acts as a leader for the team. Grade 9 athlete Jackson Allan also stood out to Booth, since he showed promise with just a few months of experience.

“He played like a veteran and he’s only played a couple of months of volleyball. His star is rapidly on the rise here,” Booth said.

Booth was impressed by the boys’ performance over the weekend. The team is a very young and inexperienced group of players and they were able to hold their own against some tougher rivals. Booth said the skills the boys showed meant that the next few years of high school volleyball would be ones to watch.

Other GISS volleyball teams played over the weekend as well, with GISS junior girls A team winning the islands tournament held in Nanaimo. According to a GISS Athletics tweet, after winning their first set, the team found themselves down 9-17 in the second set and battled back to win it 26-24.

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