By Bob Carter
Langley — Dover Bay and MEI rallied for victories and bronze medals Saturday at the Big Kahuna BC Volleyball Championships.
Dover’s Dolphins repeated as third-place BC finishers in AAA by beating Seaquam in four (21-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-20).
MEI, extending its AA medal streak to 15 years, defeated top seed and Fraser Valley rival Pacific Academy in five (25-21, 13-25, 20-25, 25-23, 15-11). The Eagles did it with an 8-point closing run.
Dover Bay got on track after making too many errors in the first set.
“It’s about regaining an aggressive mindset,” Dolphins coach Shawn Owen said. “And trusting the process and their abilities. A bronze-medal game is never an easy one to play.”
Many of the Dolphins’ regulars are grade 12s, so playing their final match had an emotional element. In the postseason, they played in the North Island championships, the Islands zone playoffs and the BC’s, and lost just once — to top-seeded Kelowna on the semifinals on Friday.
“It’s certainly something for them to be proud of,” Owen said.
MEI, the defending two-time AA champ, scrapped their way back in the last two sets, led by last year’s Provincials MVP, Colton Loewen.
At times Loewen and PA star Nate Teasdale exchanged great hits, one better than the next.
“We put three guys back digging,” said MEI coach Brad Knodel. “We hoped he (Teasdale) had to make decisions and that we could force him into a wrong decision.”
That didn’t happen much, but the Eagles had Loewen, who almost always took a swing when he had a chance, moving into better hitting positions while in the air.
“He has more control of his body than anyone I’ve seen,” Knodel said.
MEI provided Loewen a little help.
Libero Matt Kornelsen “saved some key points,” Knodel said, “and Carson Bargen, when he had to step up, did. It was a team effort.”