While cold and rainy weather featured prominently all week, several SMUS teams enjoyed solid results and appear to be peaking as local and Island qualifying tournaments loom on the horizon.
Grade 12 student Tion McLeish continued his dominating form, outdistancing the Senior Boys field on a saturated UVic course. Avery Geddes displayed real grit and determination to claim the silver medal at the Junior Girls level. The Junior Boys team of Maan Al-Hajjaj, Eu-Rway Chew, Alexander Hann, Chris Hoydal-Payne, Danny Kotze, Noah Melo and Owen Sandquist-Sherman also reached the podium, led by Sandquist-Sherman who finished in a strong third place in the Junior Boys race.
The Senior Girls Field Hockey team began their week with a solid 2-1 league win against Glenlyon Norfolk School, thanks to goals by Fay Hoefer and Amanda Adams.
The squad then headed to Vancouver for the ISA tournament, made more challenging by torrential rain and slow, soggy turf. Pool games, against Shawnigan Lake School and York House, both ended up in scoreless draws. Eva Cuddihy was denied a goal from a penalty corner for a shot taken millimetres outside the D. Goalkeeper Talia Pike produced any number of highlight reel saves.
These results, after several tie break formulae, left SMUS to play Collingwood for the bronze medal. This scoreless draw then went to a shootout, with Hoefer and Rebecca Stone finding the mark, while Pike kept a clean sheet.
Overall, it was a very closely contested event. The Blue Jags defence looks well organized in advance of what promises to be close and hard-fought Island and BC AA competitions. The latter of these will take place November 3-5 at UVic.
In the final touch rugby games of the term, the Grade 8 teams hosted Shawnigan Lake and Queen Margaret’s School. All three schools performed well in wet conditions. Special mention goes to Manon D., Luke L., Fraser T., Madison T. and Will Z.
The Grade 9 Boys also enjoyed a successful outing. With both sides hampered by various bangs and knocks, SMUS joined forces with the Castaway Wanderers U15s to battle Shawnigan Lake. Both teams made light of the slippery ball to produce fine passages of play, learning on the fly in what, for many of them, was a first-ever 15-a-side game.
Senior Boys Soccer saw a disappointing 3-0 loss to St. Andrew’s but performed much better in a subsequent game against a strong Lambrick Park outfit. Ethan Woods made some key saves in goal, while the energy of LeRoy Wang, Louis Chang and Finn Klenz was also notable. While wins remain elusive, there is still much to play for once league play finishes. Certainly, the November 8-9 Island championship in Campbell River will provide a new opportunity.
Meanwhile, the Junior Boys enjoyed a fine week, moving into second place on the league table after victories over Oak Bay High and Glenlyon Norfolk. In the first of these contests, goalie Camilo Libreros Rios kept things close in the first half with some outstanding saves. Then, markers by Tomas Woodcock and Kian Colgate, the latter with just minutes remaining, secured a thrilling 2-1 win. Against Glenlyon Norfolk, early goals by Davis Hardy and Noah Haage staked SMUS to a 2-0 advantage. With Wil Woods and Arthur Van Begin also on form, the Blue Jags then added another pair before the Gryphons closed well in what finished a 4-2 final score.
In volleyball, the BC No. 5-ranked Senior Boys enjoyed a quiet week following wins over Oak Bay and Belmont.
On the Senior Girls side, the team completed league play in pool A, failing to cash in on strong starts versus BC AAA No. 4 Mount Douglas, but sweeping both Reynolds and Royal Bay. Skye Farish continued her fine season, leading the way in terms of serve receive and blocking at the net. SMUS now takes part in what promises to be a high-level ISA tournament on October 22-23.
At Junior Girls level, the team went 3-3, splitting a pair of games versus Pacific Christian School, sweeping Dover Bay, but falling to league leading Claremont. Janet Andrews and Kate Fraser stood out in terms of blocking and attacking, while Avery Geddes and Joss Olcen served effectively. Setters Yanyu Zhang and Lucia Schmidt del Rio continued their solid play.