For the first time in SMUS sporting history, both the Junior girls and Senior boys volleyball teams qualified for the provincial tournament.
The Junior girls scraped their way into the event as the final team to qualify via the wild card route. The opening match versus eventual champion Semiahmoo Secondary proved a tough assignment, but the experience gained allowed the Blue Jags, led by Josie Hallatt and Anna Brinham, to then upset Okanagan Mission. Unfortunately, the team never got into the same rhythm against Vancouver Tech, dropping to the consolation side of the draw after a straight set defeat.
Nonetheless, with Marina Fabris and Jasper Delichte to the fore, SMUS did manage a victory over South Kamloops before falling to both College Heights and Nanaimo District Secondary. Playing teams from all across the province was a wonderful experience and the initial opportunity to compete in the BCs should be of great benefit in the years ahead.
The Senior boys traveled to Salt Spring Island to take part in the Island AA Championships. Some inconsistent Day 1 play produced only one pool win, with a subsequent elimination match versus Timberline then required just to stay alive in the tournament. Despite a slow start, SMUS recovered to win in three sets and so reach the semifinal. The positive momentum continued, at least initially, with a comfortable opening set win over city rival Pacific Christian School. However, the Pacers bounced back with a vengeance to take the next two games.
This turn of events left a final match versus host and North Island No. 1 Gulf Islands Secondary. The Scorpions rode the energy of a passionate home crowd to gain an early lead and win the opening set. Yet, led by Karter Fry, Noah Helman, Ty Olynyk and Tristan Kuhn, the Blue Jags showed great resilience in turning the tables to then capture two games in a row. With the victory, the team grabbed the final BC berth on offer, and looks forward to the provincial tournament, on now until December 1 at the Langley Events Centre.
After a second-place Island finish two weeks ago, the Senior boys soccer squad journeyed to Burnaby November 19-21 for the BC AA finals. Early goals by Ben Shaw and Andrei Mironov confirmed a 2-0 opening win versus Kalamalka Secondary School, with top place in the pool then resting on gaining a win over long-time foe Archbishop Carney. While an early Ewan Halliday bullet crashed back off the cross bar, two fine goals from the Stars resulted in a 2-0 loss for the Blue Jags.
With 5th place now the best the team could achieve, the Blue Jags picked a bad day to play perhaps its most erratic soccer of the season, surrendering three second-half goals in a 3-1 defeat to Windsor before then going down 2-0 to Brentwood College.
In the last game of the season, versus Duchess Park, Elvis Duru notched a natural hat trick as part of a comfortable 4-0 win and 11th place overall finish. Halliday capped a fine career by being named to the tournament Commissioner’s XI.
In other soccer news, two alumni stood tall as their respective university careers came to a close. First, Matty McColl ’15 was named a NESCAC All-Star for his fine play at Bowdoin College in New England. And Callum Montgomery ’15, though his UNC Charlotte 49ers squad bowed out in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, was named a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, awarded to the top Division 1 soccer players.
Finally, the basketball season got underway with the always enjoyable Alumni Basketball Celebration on November 24. On the girls side, athletes from our Middle and Senior Schools mixed in for a highly entertaining 3-on-3 tournament featuring talented alumni. The Senior boys game showcased some highlight reel action, with Danny Wu’s (2014) eight trifectas and a dizzying array of Ryan Hindson ’17 dunks propelling the Alumni to a comfortable 108-78 win.