Friends become teammates for Summer Games

At 5-foot-3, Asia Rattigan isn’t worried about the added challenge her lack of height brings on the court

Volleyball players Nicole Bracewell and Asia Rattigan will represent Greater Victoria on the 15-and-under Zone 6 team heading to the B.C. Summer Games in Surrey

Volleyball players Nicole Bracewell and Asia Rattigan will represent Greater Victoria on the 15-and-under Zone 6 team heading to the B.C. Summer Games in Surrey

At 5-foot-3, Asia Rattigan isn’t worried about the added challenge her height, or lack thereof, brings on the volleyball court.

Especially in the company of pal Nicole Bracewell, all six feet of her.

The pair of 15 year olds are the South Island’s only contribution to the Island and Coastal (Zone 6) 15-and-under volleyball team competing in the B.C. Summer Games in Surrey, July 19 to 22.

“I’m usually the small kid,” said Rattigan, who’s also a Saanich News carrier of seven years. “Pretty much always, actually.”

But don’t be deceived, said Bracewell.

“(Rattigan’s) got hops. She’s a great setter and she can get to almost any ball and will dive for anything.”

As added proof, Rattigan tied for first in the pole vault for bantam age girls at the track and field city championships.

The friends were born two days apart and are separated by nine inches in height, and are enjoying summer before Grade 10. Rattigan will return to Oak Bay High, while Bracewell is transferring to Belmont secondary from Spencer middle school.

On June 4, they were among 56 girls trying out for the Zone 6 team in Nanaimo. It was an all day process, with plenty of individual skills and drills.

The Summer Games is a rare chance for the girls to play together on the same team. They were both on a representative Victoria entry at an international tournament last year. But here in town, Bracewell plays on the right side and middle with the 250 Titans’ U16 squad, while Rattigan is a setter with the Victoria Volleyball Association’s U15 Chargers. They’ll likely assume the same roles at the Summer Games.

Since making the roster, the girls are training 10 to 11 hours per day in Campbell River, four days per week leading up to July 19.

“It’s great to get to play together for once,” Rattigan said. “Nicole’s an amazing blocker and a super passer. She’s an overall great teammate, but is pretty competitive and shows no mercy (in going for kills).”

Rattigan got her start at the volleyball factory that is Lansdowne middle school under coach Rick Wutzke.

Lansdowne is better known for producing many of the city’s top male volleyball players despite the boys lagging in numbers behind the girls.

Wuztke is co-coaching the Zone 6 boys U15 team with Oak Bay High’s Al Carmichael. Just 14 players come out to tryouts, with 11 making the team, nine of them from Victoria: Haansen Christenson, Alan Lau, Michael Connacher, David Lee, Matt Mitchner, Kyle Bourden, Cole Beevor-Potts, John Fitterer and Dan Chen.

Seven of the players are from Lansdowne, and were with the U15 Chargers that finished second at the club provincials this spring.

“Actually, (Rattigan) used to practise with the boys too,” Wutzke said.

“When we went to the gym at recess, she was there.

“She’s going to be a great player. The beauty is, even though she won’t be a tall girl, she’ll have a spot as a libero.”

About 4,000 visitors – including spectators, athletes, officials and coaches, as well as their families and friends – are expected to flow into Surrey during the three days of the event. The economic impact is expected to be between $2.5 and $3 million to restaurants, shopping malls and transportation.

 

Just Posted

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.’s Indigenous language, art and culture

North Saanich advisor says initiative supports urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

General manager Lindsey Pomper says Sidney’s Star Cinema cannot wait welcome audiences when it reopens June 18, amid an easing of public health measures. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney’s Star Cinema raises curtain for the first time after months in the darkness

Iconic theatre to reopen at half capacity for Friday night showing

A dogs in parks pilot study unanimously approved by Saanich council will evaluate how park space can best be shared between dog owners and non-owners alike. (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Saanich to study park-sharing strategy between those with and without pets

District-wide People, Parks and Dogs study to produce recommendations by fall

Staff member Lena Laitinen gives the wall at BoulderHouse a workout during a media tour on June 16. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
BoulderHouse raring to rock Langford

Popularity of bouldering continues to climb across Greater Victoria

GardenWorks nursery in Oak Bay at its home until August. (Black Press Media file photo)
GardenWorks puts down new roots in Oak Bay this summer

Nursery shifts down The Avenue to fill former fitness studio space

The BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Metchosin saw 16 fawns come through in May, with another four in the first four days of June. (Courtesy Wild ARC)
An abandoned fawn doesn’t mean it’s orphaned, reminds Greater Victoria wildlife expert

20 orphaned fawns turned in to Wild ARC in Metchosin so far this season

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Most Read