For the second straight year, the Semiahmoo Totems have finished as runners up at their own tournament.
On Saturday at Semiahmoo Secondary, the Totems senior girls volleyball team lost to the Mission Roadrunners 2-1 in the championship game of the Peace Arch News Classic in a game Totems coach Gord Houchen said could have just as easily swung in a favourable direction for the host squad.
“We had a real tough break in the second game – we could’ve won it in two – but that’s the way it goes,” said Houchen, who is also the longtime organizer of the senior girls tournament, which has been played on the Peninsula since the late 1980s.
“We were up 22-20 (and) got a call that was a little tight on the net… something where their setter dumped it over and our player was called for reaching over the net to block it. It was a tough, tough call… but you can’t complain about that stuff – sometimes you get those calls and sometimes they go against you.
“At that point, it was 22-21, so we still had a chance to win. But it was a momentum changer, for sure.”
Semiahmoo – ranked fifth in B.C. quad-A rankings before the tournament tipped off – lost to the No. 8-ranked Roadrunners 2-1, winning the first game 25-23 before dropping the next two, by 25-22 and 15-13 scores, respectively.
It was during the second game, with the hosts up 22-20, that a questionable call at the net went in favour of Mission, who took the point and the momentum and went on to close out the match, though the third game was just as close; the teams were tied 13-13 before Mission scored the final two points.
Last year, the Totems – as juniors – lost in the final to Vancouver’s Magee Secondary.
Before getting back to the title game for the second year in a row, Semiahmoo finished second in its pool – Mission was first and was the only team to defeat the Totems in round-robin action – and beat Elgin Park in the first playoff game Saturday morning.
“They kind of took it to us that first time,” Houchen said of his team’s first matchup with Mission.
The Orcas – the only other South Surrey entry in the 10-team tournament – finished fifth overall. After losing to Semi in the first playoff round, they defeated Richmond’s McRoberts Secondary 2-0 (25-13, 25-13) in the fifth-place game.
In semifinals, Semiahmoo defeated Delta’s Seaquam Seahawks 2-1 (25-21, 21-25, 15-6), while Mission beat Burnaby Central 2-0 in the other semifinal match.
Mission’s Mo Likness was named the tournament’s most valuable player, while all-star nods went to Emma Wubs (Semiahmoo), Nicole Pajic (Semiahmoo), Megan Cao (Burnaby Central), Mckenna Schierling (Seaquam) and Delaney Spinks (Mission).
Up next for all the senior girls squads is playoffs, with South Fraser zone action set to hit the court, with games at both Semiahmoo and Elgin Park from Nov. 12-16. Semiahmoo finished the regular season with a 6-1 win-loss record which put them in a three-way tie for first place alongside Pacific Academy and Lord Tweedsmuir.
“It was a very competitive league this year,” Houchen said.
Three teams will advance from the seven-team South Fraser zone into provincial championships, which are scheduled for the end of the month at the Langley Events Centre, while the fourth-place South Fraser squad will still have a shot to qualify for B.C. championships by going through a wild-card round.