Lightning Strikes For a Third Time

They say lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice.

Well they couldn’t be more wrong in Langley, as lightning has not just struck once, or twice, but three times for eight members of the Langley Christian Lightning.

On Saturday night, in front of a loud and rowdy crowd, the Lighting dispatched a young and overmatched Abbotsford Christian Knights squad in three sets, 25-17, 25-15, 25-22 to capture a third provincial crown – Junior Boys in 2015 and AA Senior Boys in 2016.

“This is the best match we’ve played in the whole tournament,” said Lightning head coach Carol Hofer, who has coached the team to all three provincial crowns. “We got better every match and Matthias Dahl played his best match of his season, and was awesome, Caleb Kastelein stepped up…and hit some amazing balls, and Caleb Schnitzer, our setter, made great decisions.”

Before the match Hofer spoke to her team about belief and how she believed this group could be champions again.

“I told them that I believed we could be champions today and that we needed to get out there and do the work,” Hofer said. “We’ve focused all season long about what we know we’re capable of and really, we hardly ever focus on our opponents.”

Leading the way for the Lightning during their best game of the season was Hofer’s son Brodie, who won his second straight tournament MVP after unleashing a flurry of violent spikes on the Knight’s defenders.

“It’s (the multiple MVP awards) nice to have, but having three banners in a row with a team of guys that I’ve been going to school with every day and that I see all the time and are my best friends, coming home with those, tops the MVPs,” said Brodie in front of a packed house that remained to celebrate the win with the Lightning.

Brodie also acknowledge the crowd that was loud and cheered on every point for both teams, and of course his teammates, who were there all season long for him.

“They (his teammates) were fantastic,” Brodie said. “Every guy had something to bring to the table, weather they were on the bench hyping us up or they were serving or setting the ball.”

One such teammate that was particular awesome all tournament was Grade 12 libero, Matthias Dahl, who was named the tournament’s top libero.

“We worked so hard,” Dahl said as he looked pleasantly stunned in disbelief at what his team had accomplished. “I’m so excited, but at the same time I’m sad it’s over, because I love playing with this group of guys.”

And while one group of Grade 12s says good bye to high school volleyball, across the court a very talented group of Grade 11s has aspirations that maybe next season will be their year.

Abbotsford Christian will have more than half their roster returning next season including Canadian National 16U player and tournament first team all star, Cole Brandsma.

“I’m very excited about next year,” said Knight’s head coach Anthony Janzen as he smiled proudly about all his team had accomplished over the past year, reminding people that they weren’t even in this tournament a year ago.  “I think we’ve set the ground work this year for some great things next year, so I’m very excited for next year.”

The Bronze Medal was won by Duchess Park Secondary School Condors as they beat their cross town rivals, the College Heights Secondary School Cougars, 25-11, 25-22 and 25-14.



Author: Ian Esplen

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