With just one loss in seven matches, the Surrey Christian Falcons were very close to a B.C. championship.
But that one defeat cost the senior girls volleyball team a place in the gold medal match, forcing the Falcons to settle for the bronze medal at the 2A provincial high school championship tournament last week in Abbotsford.
“I’m super proud of the whole team,” said head coach Hendrick Van Ryk. “I credit the players. They worked hard, they learned the system. Then they trusted the system and trusted each other.”
The Falcons swept all three matches in pool play, then began the 16-team playoff with a 3-1 victory over the York House Tigers. The clashed with the Breakers in the quarterfinal round, and advanced with another 3-1 win, before losing a semifinal match 3-2 to the Langley Christian Lightning. Langley Christian, which went on to win the provincial championship, eked out a 25-14, 23-25, 25-16, 24-26, 15-8 decision over the Falcons.
A couple of hours later, Surrey Christian swept the St. Patrick Celtics 25-18, 25-23 to claim the bronze medal.
“The semifinal was a tough loss, our only one of the tournament,” said Van Ryk. “It was a two-hour marathon, then we had to play for the bronze medal two hours later.
“The girls said to each other ‘let’s go out with a win, and with a medal around our necks.’ “
Kiera Van Ryk of the Falcons was named to the first team, Sammi Lieuwen made the second all-star squad. Coach Van Ryk credited the entire team for “contributing in different ways” and praised Jaylene Lucas and Alyssa De Vries at the middle position as “they each learned a new position this year, made a number of blocks and didn’t’ get a lot of credit.”
The Pacific Academy Breakers were also at the 2A tournament in Abbotsford where they placed seventh. They reached the quarterfinal round where they were eliminated by Surrey Christian.
Pacific Academy won one of two consolation matches to place seventh. Abigail Wittenberg of the Breakers was named to the second all-star team.
– A pair of five-set losses within 24 hours left the Pacific Academy Breakers just one step shy of the podium at the B.C. High School Senior 2A Boys volleyball Championships at the Langley Events Centre.
The Breakers, who earned the number-one seed for the playoff round, lost Friday night’s semifinal final to the College Heights Cougars of Prince George, then fell in another five-set contest Saturday afternoon to the M.E.I. Eagles of Abbotsford in a battle for the bronze medal.
Nathan Teasdale of the Breakers was named to the tournament’s first all-star team, while teammate Jordan Schnitzer was a second-team selection. Pacific Academy was named the tournament’s Most Sportsmanlike Team.
– In the Boys 3A category, also played in Langley, the Fraser Heights Firehawks finished in a tie for 11th position.
Fraser Heights lost 3-0 to Kelowna, the eventual silver medalists, in the round-of-16. The Firehawks topped the Penticton Lakers 3-1 in a first-round playoff match, and split two consolation matches.
– At the Senior 4A Girls tournament in North Vancouver, the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers advanced to the quarterfinal round before falling to the eventual-champion Belmont Bulldogs of Victoria in a five-set match. The Panthers then won two consolation matches to place fifth.
The Clayton Heights Night Riders qualified for the Senior 3A Girls tournament in Kelowna, where they placed 13th.