Ballenas Secondary School’s two senior volleyball teams are back from their respective AAA provincial championships.
In action in Vancouver, Ballenas’ senior girls finished seventh out of 16 teams.
The Whalers opened the big tourney last Thursday with wins over Timberline (2-1) and Caledonia (2-0) then fell to Little Flower Academy (0-2).
“A humbling loss,” Whalers’ head coach John Philip said after. “They were very good, they were eventual tournament winners.”
The Whaler girls bounced back Friday “with a very well-played round of 16 match against Clayton Heights,” which they won 3-0.
That evening against the Panthers from Vernon, BSS lost 3-1.
The Whalers, said their coach “didn’t start well, didn’t play that well, poorly refereed, and Vernon had their best match of the tournament.”
Back at it Saturday morning for another match against Timberline, who they’d beaten four times in the past four tournaments, “the motivation wasn’t there” and the Whalers lost 2-0.
Ballenas closed out the tournament with a win over Point Grey (20-25, 25-21, 22-20).
“We played an excellent match,” said Philip.
The team was led by outstanding defensive effort by Emma McNichol (13 digs) and on offence by Alex Cloutier (seven kills, three blocks) and Jenna Pearce (eight kills).
“Like I said to the girls after, we played in 10 tournaments and the majority of those we finished first or second, so we had a very successful season,” Philip said of the campaign. The team loses six of its 12 players to graduation this year.
IN SR. BOYS action the Whalers are back home from their AAA BC Championships where they finished tied for 11th out of 20 teams.
Co-coach Steve Dorsay said the team finished third in their pool then lost three straight to the No. 2 ranked Kelowna Owls in the quarterfinals, but regrouped and set their sights on finishing ninth and winning the consolation final.
The Whalers beat Centennial two straight “and played some of our best volleyball of the tournament,” said Dorsay, but the blue and white came up short in the match against 5th ranked Delta for a spot in the 9/10 game, losing two close ones.
“Overall an amazing season,” said Dorsay, pointing out the side placed first and second at several Island tourney’s, won their second straight AAA North Island title, finished second at the Island finals, and improved over last year’s provincial finals when they placed 18th.
In the end Dorsay thanked fellow BSS teacher and co-coach Daryl Britz, with props to the players: Kendal Wuerch, TR Doty, Colson Schneider, Cole Bennet, Cam Greeno, Dade Pennington, Robert Tickell and Brad Harvey “on a very successful season.”