From the basketball court to the rugby pitch and squash courts, SMUS athletes represented the school well as students returned to school after the break.
The start of the winter term saw the continuation of basketball, with multiple SMUS teams engaged in both league and exhibition play.
Pride of place goes to the highly regarded Junior Girls squad. Traveling to the Riverside Tournament in the Fraser Valley allowed for three games versus top-ranked provincial opposition. Led by Lauren Rust and Brianne McLeish, the Blue Jags opened up with a decisive 44-28 victory versus Walnut Grove. This ensured a semi-final meeting with Kelowna, BC’s No. 1 ranked team.
In a wonderful contest, SMUS competed hard throughout. Down 41-29 entering the final quarter, the team, with Rust, McLeish and Makena Anderson to the fore, closed the gap before falling 46-40. Bouncing back quickly, the players then turned in another solid performance in the bronze medal game, making quick work of Mission. In the 56-21 victory, everyone on the squad figured in the scoring.
The Junior Girls Development team continued its improved play, defeating GNS 41-27 in league action. Alienor de Nanteuil potted 16 points, with Jenna Melo, Talia Pike and Lizzy Kim also contributing well.
Then, versus Mount Douglas, the Senior Girls recorded a handsome 73-44 win. Claudia Murr enjoyed a remarkable game, notching four triples en route to a stunning 47-point performance.
On the boys side, the Junior Boys moved to 3-1 in league, thanks to a come-from-behind 68-65 victory versus Vic High. Then, at a Fraser Valley Invitational event, SMUS dropped host Rick Hansen in a quarterfinal before falling to local powers Maple Ridge and WJ Mouat. Gavin Cougle, Will Robinson and Ty Driscoll all played strongly.
Finally, the Senior Boys overcame both Parkland and Stelly’s to move to 3-0 in local AAA action. The team, slowly making strides after a checkered December, faces a big test versus BC AAA No. 7 Ladysmith in the first round of the January 16-18 Victoria Police Basketball Tournament. Also lying in wait on the Blue Jags’ side of the draw are BC AA contenders King George and Lambrick Park.
Away from the hardwood, seniors Matt Klimchuk and Chloé Hill-Huse both represented SMUS with distinction over the Christmas break. The pair were selected for their respective Canada U18 squads, which traveled to California for a series of exhibition matches versus the USA and a visiting South African Academy side. Klimchuk, playing at flanker, No. 8 and then tight head prop, took the field on three occasions, scoring a try in each outing with some powerful running. Hill-Huse started at hooker in her game, producing a robust defensive effort as Canada overturned a 10-point halftime deficit to edge home 29-24.
In December, some of our squash athletes competed in two big North American tournaments: the Canadian Junior Open and the US Junior Squash Open. Congratulations to athletes Oliver Kerr, Jay Herring, Christian Yuen, Alex Brown, Anderson Brown and Sofia Quon on representing the school well at the CJO, and to Herring, Yuen and the Browns for playing well at the Harvard-based USJO.