Athletics Review: Grade AA Island Quality

Field-Hockey_Island-Champs.jpg

by Darin Steinkey

Beyond an outstanding week of sport — highlighted by an Island Championship, a Western Canadian bronze medal and several first place finishes in various sports — what struck me this week was the sheer number of athletes out there competing. That’s what high school athletics is all about.

Field Hockey
by David Kerr

For the first time since 2003, the SMUS Senior field hockey team has won the AA Island Championship. The girls beat Shawnigan 1-0 in an exciting final with a goal from Grade 10 Kasey Boyle and a shutout from Shinai Sorensen (her fourth of the tournament). The win is especially sweet as Shawnigan beat SMUS earlier in the day in pool play and also they were ranked #1 in the province going into the tournament.

The girls now go to provincials on November 7, 8 and 9 with high hopes of a top four finish. The girls are rightly thrilled with their accomplishments. They now have won two pieces of hardware in the last seven days after the success in the SMUS Invitational Tournament last weekend.

Senior Girls Volleyball
by Melanie Masson

This past week, the Senior girls volleyball team competed in the Western Canadian Independent Schools Volleyball Championship (WCISVC) at Crofton House in Vancouver. The eight-team tournament began on Wednesday afternoon with squads from Manitoba (St John’s-Ravenscourt School), Saskatchewan (Notre Dame College), Alberta (Rundle College and Strathcona-Tweedsmuir) and BC (Cofton House and York House and Collingwood) all strongly representing their provinces. The unique format of this tournament as well as the billeting component are what make it “more than just the volleyball”; it is a celebration of the sport from around western Canada and a chance for athletes to share their love and passion for the hard court.

SMUS entered the playoff round with four wins, three losses and a solid fourth-place ranking. The team challenged the Strathcona-Tweedsmuir squad in the semi-finals in a very close battle with set scores of 26-24 and 25-23 in favour of the STS Spartans. As it was the 40th anniversary of the WCISVC, it was fitting for the Spartans to win because they won the first ever Spartan Cup. The host team Crofton House finished the tournament with a silver medal and as a newbie to the tournament, SMUS captured the bronze, defeating York House in a nail biting three-set final match.

Team captain and senior member of the squad, Sophia Ducharme was recognized with a honourable mention for best attacker of the tournament and also named to the first all-star team. Grade 10 Amy Bodine was also identified as a strong member of the second all-star team. It was an extremely exciting and rewarding experience for the girls, who will enter next weekend’s ISA tournament at St. Margaret’s School in Victoria on a high note.

Senior School Squash
by Chris Hanebury

This past weekend, 11 members of the Senior School’s competitive squash team took to the courts at the Evergreen Junior Squash Championships in North Vancouver. The team once again had some great results, capturing three titles.

Jason Yoo, aka the Zen Master was at it again, winning his second tournament of the season. Jason was unseeded and won the Boys Under 15 while only dropping two games all weekend. Jason displayed a great variety of hard drives and delicate drop shots while employing some excellent tactics.

Gavin Maxwell won his second tournament in as many weeks. Gavin played up a category in the Boys Under 19 and was seeded fourth. He was impressive, employing a variety of tactics and was able to adapt mid-match to whatever his opponents attempted. Gavin’s results will help him continue to climb his way up the provincial and national rankings; although the same cannot yet be said about the team ladder!

It was an extra-special weekend for the birthday girl, Janel Gaube. Janel also played up a category (in the Girls Under 19) and won the title without losing a single game! Janel beat the number one seed and local favourite in impressive fashion. She hit the ball with great pace and created a number of attacking opportunities. Janel’s result is a tribute to her excellent work ethic and determination.

Janel, Gavin and Jason are all in great form heading into the Alberta Jesters in November and the Canadian Junior Open in December.

Although they did not come home with any hardware, Liam Keeler-Young and Jack Janus undoubtedly produced the most exciting match of the tournament. Liam was up two games to love and the third game went back and fourth until Jack finally squeaked it out 20-18. Jack then once again went on to win the fourth game in extra points (12-10) and the fifth and deciding game 11-9. Both Jack and Liam left it all out on the court, fighting for every point. For the time being this puts Jack one spot ahead of Liam on the team ladder. Great match boys! We might need to sell tickets to the rematch!

Junior Girls Volleyball
by Benson Young

In league play, the girls had two sets of matches in the past week and a half. In the first set, the team traveled to Oak Bay to play their A team and then their B team. With the best record so far in league play and labelled the team to beat, Oak Bay was a good challenge for the SMUS squad. Although neither side was dominant over the other, the opposition was a bit more consistent and executed a bit better on a number of key points in both sets. Despite some good serving, especially by Emily Hooton, Sarah Hagkull and Jennifer Shan, the girls were unable to get a lead in either set. An inability to convert free balls to kills cost the team the first set 18-25. In the second set, both sides played well and traded spike kills and rallies throughout. After a couple of key errors and a series of hard fought rallies at the end of the set, Oak Bay prevailed 25-20.

Against the Oak Bay B team, SMUS prevailed 2-0 but both sets were highly competitive. Some highlights included an impressive four-point “secret weapon” serving run by Sarah Owen-Flood that helped seal the deal in the first set. Some strong passing from power-hitter Sarah Loughton combined with crisp setting from Flora Manson-Blair helped the offense immensely. Impressive digs and saves from libero Cindy Kim held the team in many rallies. The coup de grâce in the second set was an impressive passing display leading to a powerful kill from Emily Hooton.

Last Monday, the girls took on Vic High and Stelly’s A team. The Vic High squad had a scrappy defense which seemed to be able to dig everything SMUS put to them. A disappointing first set loss seemed to inspire the girls to better play in the second set. Overall, the match was one of the worst in the season as SMUS has the skill set that should have resulted in wins in both sets rather than a split. Against Stelly’s, the team was more focused but up against a more skilled squad than Vic High. A narrow 25-23 first set victory included some strong net play from the SMUS middles, Jennifer Shan and Keeley Copeland. In the second set, after trading points and good rallies for much of play, they prevailed 25-20.

Also that week, the team played exhibition sets against Lambrick Park. Although results were mixed in the three sets of play, SMUS won three of four, playing a series of different lineups. Although most points did not have the same intensity as the ones with Oak Bay, it was still a good opportunity to gain experience going forward into the season.

Upcoming next week will be a summary of the ISA tournament at Brentwood and the final league games at home against Claremont and GNS. The team is sitting in third position in their division and look to hold that spot to guarantee a berth to the City Finals on November 2 and 3 in Victoria.

Rowing
by Susanne Walker-Curry

This weekend, while most people were enjoying time away from the academic classroom, the 58 members of the SMUS rowing team battled other local schools and the weather at Elk Lake. This was the first regatta for many rowers this season and, even though the competition pulled hard, SMUS pulled harder, with several making finals. Through sun, wind and rain over the two days (16 hours of competition), everyone’s spirits remained high. All in all, it was an excellent weekend and a great team bonding experience. A huge thank you to the parents who cheered on the sidelines and Mr. and Mrs. Rodford for meeting us on the dock and cheering through all the various weather fronts!

The coaches are exhausted and proud of the entire team’s efforts, both on and off the water. It is a pleasure to work with such a great bunch of athletes!

Event

Result

Senior Novice Girls 4X: Tina Yu, Dayna Fitzgerald, Hayley Burns, Lauren Quong

Third

Senior Boys Novice 8+: Marco Caffaro, Shengjie Cheng, Gareth Croft, Zak Klein, Tomasz Koziol, Wayne Lin, Kevan Lo, Ong Tangjintanakarn, Wyatt Lutes (Cox)

Second

Senior Novice Boys 4X: Weitao Zhao, Luis Alonso Escudero, Alex Heidrick, Isaac Chung

Third

Senior Boys 4X: Isaac Chung, Brody Watkins, Jacob McCallum, Wayne Lin

Sixth

Senior Boys 2X: Brody Watkins, Jacob McCallum

Fifth

Senior Boys 1X: Jacob McCallum

Second

Junior Novice Girls 8+: Sarah Hagkull, Anika Johnson, Kate Laumann-Wallace, Kara Jebbink, Martha Cohn, Charlotte Colby, Desiree McIntosh, Sage Friswell, Katelyn McAulay (Cox)

Second

Junior Boys Novice 8+: Jacob Walker, Max Yong, Henry Liu, John Throne , Harrison Xu, Simon Hassel, Ben Parker, Ethan Otto, Chloe White (Cox)

First

Next up for the team is the City Championships, November 3 and 4, at Elk Lake.

Photos by Rob Ducharme and Gemma Bosworth

NO COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY