The Clayton Heights Senior Girls Volleyball team won a bronze medal at the AAA BC Provincial Championships for the second year in a row.
“It is an amazing accomplishment to medal two years in a row at the senior level,” their coach, Gord Houchen said.
The Nightriders had a strong regular season with a 7 win, 1 loss record in league play, and they participated in the Seaquam Tournament, the Trinity Tournament, the UBC Tournament, the UBC Okanagan Tournmament and the Peace Arch Tournament.
At the Fraser Valley Championships Clayton Heights took the silver medal defeating Rick Hansen and MEI before falling to Seaquam in the Fraser Valley Final 3 games to 1.
Rachel Proctor and Tonya Gulbrandsen were named Fraser Valley All-stars.
At the Provincials in Parksville, Clayton started fast by pounding the ball from everywhere and anywhere to defeat Naniamo 2-0 (25-9, 25-20) and Langley’s Brookswood 2-0 (25-7, 25-22).
The fifth ranked Nightriders then faced number 3 ranked Little Flower Academy from Vancouver and upset them 2-0 (25-19, 25-18), placing them first in their pool. Clayton’s hitting attack and strong defense seemed to intimidated and frustrated LFA throughout the match.
In the first round of elimination playoff action Clayton defeated the Vernon Panthers 2-0 (25-16, 25-18).
In the quarter-finals the Nightriders played their Fraser valley rivals the MEI Eagles in a best of five match.
Great hitting by Breanna Evoy, Tonya Gulbrandsen, Rachel Proctor and Maddy Power led Clayton to victory as the Eagles defense could not deal with their powerful attack. In one of their best matches of the season the Nightriders won in three straight games 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-20).
In the semi-finals Clayton played number two ranked Crofton House of Vancouver. The match turned into a battle that lasted more than two hours. The Nightriders played hard and did themselves proud but lost 3 games to 2 (25-17, 20-25, 25-22, 18-25 and 9-15).
Power hitters Evoy and Proctor stood out for Clayton in a losing cause. In the bronze medal match Clayton Heights came up with a strong effort in their final match of the season to sweep McRoberts of Richmond 2-0 (25-16, 25-18). Undergrads Carlene Clarke, Taylore Duhamel and Tess Frey made strong contributions to an awesome, all-around team effort.
It was Clayton’s third straight trip to the Provincial Volleyball Championships where they have finished sixth, third and third.
Each year they have finished higher than their Provincial ranking and have put on a lot of miles travelling to Prince George in 2009 and 2010 and then Parksville in 2011.
Four Nightriders Seniors have played in all three provincial Championships: Breanna Evoy, Tonya Gulbrandsen, Rachel Proctor and Tori Trim.
“These girls ability to rise to the challenge and play their best volleyball of the season at the provincial championships each year has been amazing and something they should be very proud of,” Houchen said.
The Clayton Heights Senior Girls have amassed a 15 wins 5 loss record at the provincial championships over the past three years.
Captain Breanna Evoy was named a first team all-star and Tonya Gulbrandsen was named a second team all-star. The other graduating senior and setter April Davies also had a very strong tournament for the Nightriders.