Oak Bay High heads for junior girls volleyball provincials this week taking both the city and Island titles.
“With the Island trophy only showing school champions dating back to 1995, it appears that this is the first time ever that the Oak Bay Junior Girls have been crowned champions,” says coach Lara McCulloch. “As far as the title of City Champs go, Oak Bay hasn’t had that title since 2009. Their winning ways come as a result of putting time in on the court practicing and also having the experience of competing in all the tournaments and league play.”
The team heads for provincials this week in Surrey to take on 32 other junior teams who qualified through their zones.
“It’s going to be a massive tournament matching up against the best juniors in the province. Unlike the seniors, the juniors aren’t tiered into school size, so this championship is chalk-a-block full of teams vying for the banner,” McCulloch says.
The junior girls season included a league that had 24 junior teams playing since the end of September, then City Championships, Island Championships and five tournaments
“It’s been busy, but the girls wouldn’t have had it any other way. Our biggest rival without a doubt, has been Claremont. They are a very talented team with a lot of depth as most of their players continue playing in the winter and spring with club ball,” says McCulloch. It’s rare for our teams not to match up in finals or semi finals and the quality of play is super exciting with stuff blocks, incredible defensive plays and hard hitting attacks. The scores are always tight, so the intensity is real and the level of play never disappoints.
The five teams from the Island that qualified for the B.C. Championships include Oak Bay, Carihi, Claremont, Dover Bay and NDSS and perhaps Belmont for the wild card. McCulloch feels they could see Claremont on the court again.
Senior girls second, earn BC’s berth
Island championships host Belmont senior girls punched their ticket to the Provincial Championships with a straight sets win over Oak Bay on the weekend. They won 25-9, 25-16, and 25-12. Oak Bay still has a shot at provincials in two weeks at the Langley Events Centre. They also qualified for a wild card tournament Saturday in the Fraser Valley. Third place at Islands went to Reynolds after they beat Claremont 25-17, 25-16. In semi-finals Oak Bay fought past Reynolds (25-23, 15-25, 25-18, 25-19), while Belmont defeated Claremont (25-11, 25-4, 25-13). Tournament all-stars were Erin Mutch and Kito Doyle of Oak Bay, as well as Abbey Willett (Reynolds), Kailey Toker (Claremont), Taylee Pomponio (Belmont), and Jensen Schmitt (Dover Bay). The tournament MVP was awarded to Belmont’s Savannah Purdy.