After an “interesting journey” to make it to Saturday’s AAA Boys Volleyball Provincial Championship, Elgin Park Orcas finished the event in second place.
Kelowna Secondary beat Elgin at the BC School Sports (BCSS) championship in Richmond.
Kelowna won three out of four sets to secure Kelowna’s first boys’ volleyball title since 1953. Prior to Kelowna’s victory, the team had won five silver medals.
According to a release from BC School Sports, Elgin Park’s journey to the finals was one “for the history books.”
Elgin defeated a “surprising team” from Reynolds Secondary (Victoria) in the quarter-final. In the semi-finals, Elgin faced host school Ecole Secondaire McMath Secondary (Richmond). With Elgin up two sets, McMath battled back, winning two sets of their own to force a final fifth set.
“This is where things got a bit weird,” BC School Sports said in a release. “With Elgin up 5-3 in the 5th set, the power went out at the school. The gymnasium was plunged into darkness except for a few emergency lights.”
The game was paused, and when it became apparent that the power outage was widespread, officials moved the game to Steveston-London Secondary in Richmond, which still had power.
Teams, officials and fans worked quickly to set up the court, and pull out the bleachers to continue the match in Steveston-London.
The rules stipulate that when a game is forced to change location, the match should start the current set over.
McMath coach Daniel Wong, however, indicated that the game should resume from the point where it was left off, with McMath down 5-3.
BC School Sports described Wong’s decision as a demonstration of sportsmanship and leadership that “you don’t see every day.”
“They had earned that lead, it was the right thing to do to play on from that point,” Wong said.
BCSS executive director Jordan Abney, who also served as tournament director, described the situation as “just crazy.”
“I’ve never seen anything like it, but I was just so impressed how everyone handled it. Admin from both schools, the players and coaches, the fans. It was amazing to see the school sport community come through like that. It made me really proud,” Abney said.
“As for Coach Daniel Wong, stating the match continue from that score, what can you say? A display of sportsmanship and leadership you rarely see, especially with so much at stake. Just an impressive leader for those young men he coaches.”
The total delay of the match from when the power went out to when the ball was put back into play at Steveston-London was 55 minutes.
Ultimately, Elgin won the semi-final 15-13 in the fifth closing out match.