By Bob Carter
Langley — The Langley Christian team had seen College Heights’ defensive prowess earlier in the Big Kahuna BC Volleyball Championships.
The Lightning knew they had to beat that defence to win the AA title match on Saturday night. And they did, claiming the championship in four sets.
LCS started slowly, dropping the first set 25-19 to a College Heights team that had knocked off Langley Fundamental and Pacific Academy, the top seed, to reach the final.
“We had a little bit of jitters,” said AA tournament MVP Brodie Hofer, the son of coach Carol Hofer. “But we got out of it pretty quickly.”
The Lightning came on strong late in the second to win that set 25-22, took a close third 25-23 and pulled away in the fourth for a closing 25-18 victory.
“This is a team that plays good defence,” Brodie Hofer said of College Heights, “but we eventually broke them down.”
Hofer’s power hitting had the most to do with that, and he got help from other hitters like first-team all-star Reid Marriott, Parker Heppell and Christian Christie.
The Lightning rode their team slogan, “90 Days,” all the way to their second BC title in five seasons. The 90 days represented the time span of the first practise up to Dec. 3, championship night.
“We counted down every day,” Brodie Hofer said. “We promised each other we’d do whatever it took to get there.”
The promise wasn’t broken.
Award winners: Nick Hansen of College Heights was a repeat winner, earning the AA Outstanding Libero award. Michael Dowhaniuk was the AAA Most Outstanding player, and Nathan Ziemanski of Dover Bay was the AAA’s top libero.
College Heights’ Ben Shand and setter Graham Walkey were first-team all-stars.