A handful of blue banners are set to be hung at schools throughout South Surrey this week, after strong performances – at various levels – at Fraser Valley volleyball championships.
At the quad-A level, Earl Marriott Secondary’s senior girls team took top spot at the Valley tournament – held at Seaquam and South Delta secondaries from Nov. 15-17 – while White Rock Christian Academy also added a banner to its crowded gym walls with a first-place showing at the senior girls single-A tournament, which was held Nov. 14-19 at Credo Christian School in Langley.
Semiahmoo Secondary’s senior boys team – playing at the AAA level – also got into the championship action, capturing a Valley title with a win over Langley’s Walnut Grove Gators Saturday afternoon.
The win over the Gators – as well as the team’s semifinal victory over Delta – had a bit of extra significance for the Totems, as the eventual winners had lost to both rivals during regular-season action.
“It was a pretty sweet victory,” Semiahmoo senior boys coach Maggie Knight said of Saturday’s final, which the Totems won 3-0.
By virtue of their regular-season finish, Semi entered the Fraser Valley tournament as a top-four seed, thus earning a first-round bye.
In their first matchup, in quarter-finals, the Totems defeated Elgin Park, before moving on to play Delta and Walnut Grove.
“We came out really strong,” Knight said. “Honestly, we’re just peaking at the right time and the boys are really gelling as a team.
“We have a really strong offensive game, and we’re also probably the tallest team in the province, so that helps, too.”
Semi’s Michael Dowhaniuk was named tournament MVP, while teammates Matthew Armstrong and Adam Paige were named Fraser Valley all-stars.
The Totems now prepare for provincials, which are scheduled for Nov. 29-Dec. 3 at the Langley Events Centre. Earl Marriott’s senior girls also ran roughshod over the competition last week in Delta.
Ranked No. 1 in the province heading into the tournament, they earned a bye into the second round, where they defeated No. 8-seed Mission.
From there, the Totems beat Seaquam in semifinals, before defeating Cloverdale’s Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers in the gold-medal game.
“Can’t complain – it was a good weekend,” said EMS coach Mark Cassell. “Now we’ll head to provincials as the top seed… it’s business as usual for us, but there will be a bit of a target on our backs, too.”
Like Semiahmoo, the No. 2-ranked Panthers also received a first-round bye, and advanced to finals after victories over the Riverside Rapids and South Delta Sun Devils.
Semiahmoo’s senior girls, ranked No. 6, were also in the tournament, and beat the 11th-ranked Yale Lions in the first round of action, before falling to South Delta in Round 2. After the loss, the Totems won a consolation-round contest over Fraser Heights.
The Totems can still sneak into the AAAA provincials – set for Dec. 1-3 in North Vancouver – if they win a wildcard contest this week, according to the Fraser Valley Volleyball Commission.
Earl Marriott’s Danika Cowie was named tournament MVP, while all-star nods went to Marriott’s Tori Dams and Tweedsmuir’s Ansah Odoom and Sedona Arabsky.
At the single-A level, WRCA won the gold-medal game in a tough environment – against Credo Christian on their home court. The victory means White Rock will head north to Kelowna, where Immaculata Regional High School is set to host single-A provincials.
WRCA’s Cecilee Max-Brown was named MVP of the tournament, while Gabby Brown and Rebecca Kirkpatrick were named to the all-star team.