By Bob Carter
Langley — The goal, the dream of a provincial championship had died two days earlier in a stunning five-set loss. That’s why the hugs and tears shared Saturday seemed more intense when Van Tech players and coaches celebrated their ninth-place victory over Delta at the Big Kahuna BC Volleyball Championships.
“It’s the end of a good team,” Tech coach Aaron Lock said. “It’s not the result we had hoped for, yet there’s more learning in what did happen in terms of the remainder of their lives.
“Maybe that loss was more valuable for them as individuals, as people.”
The third-seeded Talismen, who lost to No. 14 Killarney on Thursday, dropped the first set to Delta (25-23), another highly ranked team with title hopes which had stumbled in its zone playoffs and tumbled to a 15th seed.
Van Tech took the next two sets against Delta, 29-27 and 15-5.
Coltyn Liu, Tech’s 6-4 captain and star outside hitter, said the team had held meetings on Friday, trying to regroup.
“It was an emotional time,” he said.
Van Tech beat Oak Bay and Mount Baker in the placement draw on Friday, and then the players talked about Saturday’s match being their season finale and the last in high school for many.
“Before the second set, we knew that this was it; we had to play better,” said Liu, a grade 12. “We got some points, were playing free and started connecting with each other. Just being happy.”
In the third, Tech breezed, with Liu continually soaring for kills. “The team started clicking,” Lock said, “and then we saw the real Coltyn.”