Seaside’s Keatan Mann serves during provincials last week in Abbotsford.

Seaside’s Keatan Mann serves during provincials last week in Abbotsford.

Seaside U16s eye Western volleyball title

Undefeated boys team captured provincial title last week at Tradex in Abbotsford.

A Semiahmoo Peninsula youth volleyball team has been on quite a roll this season, and is now eyeing a Western Canadian championship.

Seaside Volleyball Club’s under-16 boys team, the Surf – made up primarily of players from Elgin, Earl Marriott and Semiahmoo secondaries – is undefeated in its own age group, and has yet to even lose a set. They capped their run of great play with a provincial-title win last weekend at the Tradex Centre in Abbotsford.

Later this month, the squad heads to Calgary to prove themselves against competition from other Western provinces.

“It’s been quite a run,” said Seaside coach Dave Dooley.

“It’s been a lot of fun. It’s incredible, really – I’ve never had a team like this before.”

Since the club volleyball season began – shortly after the high-school season ended in late fall – the only losses Dooley’s team has suffered have been in exhibition or tournament matches against older, under-18 teams.

“Even in those tournaments, we were competitive,” he said.

At provincial championships, Seaside was the top-seeded team, which, Dooley explained, afforded them the luxury of being put into a round-robin pool with lower seeds. The Peninsula crew made short work of their round-robin competition and earned a bye through the round-of-16, before defeating Abbotsford’s Orangemen Volleyball Club in quarter-finals and Focus Volleyball Club in semifinals.

The semifinal tilt gave the Seaside team its toughest test of the season, Dooley said.

Though the Surf won, they did need to mount something of a comeback in the second set, and it also marked the first time all season that an opponent scored more than 17 points against them.

In the championship game, Seaside defeated Apex 2-0.

Seaside’s Michael Dowhaniuk was named provincial MVP, while Malachi McMullin, Teo Arnadaz, Jordan Payne and Dowhaniuk were named league all-stars.

Now, the Surf prepare for Westerns, where they’re expected to be among the top seeds again. Considering the season they’ve had to date, the target is to finish atop the podium, Dooley said.

“That’s definitely the goal, but we also realize there are a lot of really good teams there, and there is a lot of work to be done to achieve that goal,” he said.