The Senior girls volleyball team completed a successful weekend at the Island AAA Championships in Campbell River, navigating through a powerhouse field to claim fourth place overall and entry to the provincial wild card tournament.
SMUS opened against Esquimalt, setting the tone with a straight-sets win. The solid all-round effort featured consistent serving and offence, with Paris Lowe named player of the game.
Then against Carihi, the Blue Jags – led by Sam Colby – received serve well en route to another 2-0 victory.
Next up was BC #8 ranked Ballenas. Fast starts at the beginning of both sets put SMUS in control, but, despite the best efforts of Keeley Copeland, the team could not maintain momentum. Indeed, the Whalers, behind some devastating serving, rallied impressively to consign the Blue Jags to a second-place pool finish.
Day 2 opened with a “do or die” quarterfinal vs City rival Reynolds. Aggressive serving from Jessica Jiang, allied to excellent team defense, secured a key 2-0 win.
The semi-final, against BC #1 ranked Timberline, was a bridge too far, with serve reception again an issue. Nonetheless, there were many positives, as the 3-0 loss did not reflect the terrific work ethic and attitude throughout the match.
The loss moved SMUS into the bronze medal game, once again against Ballenas. Though they dropped the first set, the team bounced back with a huge comeback to even the contest 1-1. Excellent serving by Megan Harrison, and smart front court play by Beta Willeboordse, Mikayla Neal and tournament All-Star Amy Bodine had the Blue Jags positioned for the upset. However, it was not to be, with the Whalers again able to call upon their experience and depth to take a 3-1 victory.
Nonetheless, with the 4th place finish, the Blue Jags extend their season by at least another week. The performances against highly ranked Timberline and Ballenas should stand the team in good stead in the upcoming BC AAA wildcard tournament. This November 23 event will feature a round robin playoff between SMUS, Lower Mainland 5 and North Central 3. The winner will claim the final berth to the provincials.