By Bob Carter
It looks like Pacific Academy is talking a good game and playing one as well.
Coach Daniel Vissia says improved communication on the court has been a huge factor in the team’s recent success. And what a rush the experienced Breakers have enjoyed early this month. They took over first place in the stacked Fraser Valley league by winning eight of 10 matches, claimed the George Elliot Coyotes Classic title last weekend and climbed into the top spot in AA.
PA, which earlier won the Best of the West tournament, switched places with league rival Langley Christian in the rankings as another Fraser Valley team, MEI, jumped from fifth to third. The Breakers, bronze medalists in last year’s provincials, seem poised for another rousing run in the Big Kahuna BC Volleyball Championships, set for Nov. 30-Dec. 3 at the Langley Events Centre.
“The boys have been playing especially well as a team, not as individuals,” Vissia says. “They’re learning to be vocal on court, which is what a coach wants to see.”
Grade 12 Nate Teasdale, a 6-4 right side, continues to be the Breakers’ most skilled and efficient player, but he’s been getting plenty of help, notably from three other grade 12s.
- — Elijah Spoelstra, a left side in 2015, has moved to the middle and has been amassing both blocks and kills.
- — Libero Danny Kott has been a stalwart on defence and a big communicator. “He keeps everyone calm,” Vissia says, “and gets them where they need to be on court. He’s a good leader.”
- — Setter Andrew Kim, says Vissia, has been “steadily getting better and more consistent, and building relationships with other players.”
The court conversations seemingly have made a difference.
“They realize that they need to talk things up,” Vissia says. “You see it more and more, like someone telling the setter that the last set was great, or if not, that the ball needs to be moved out or maybe closer to the net.”
No idle chatter here, just the kind of exchanges that makes a team better in its drive to being the best.
(Bob Carter can be reached at email@example.com)