Abby Christian finds a way and wins AA Bronze!

Abby Christian finds a way and wins AA Bronze!


Abby Christian's #10 Zachary Meinen setting during the AA Bronze match.

Abby Christian’s #10 Zachary Meinen setting during the AA Bronze match.

The AA Bronze match showcased Abbotsford Christian (ranked 3) vs George Elliot (ranked 4) – a retake on last year’s Provincial final. George Elliot came into this match after, what they might call, a let down performance against Langley Christian the night before- where the team made a number of unforced errors. GESS head coach Chris Frehlick,

“We didn’t deserve to be in the final based on the way we played yesterday.”

Abby Christian also had higher aspiration hopes in their tournament finish as they had played well against MEI in some of their early season meetings. However, it was not to be.

George Elliot and coach Frehlick discuss options during a timeout.

George Elliot and coach Frehlick discuss options during a timeout.

So the two volleyball teams found themselves playing in a bronze game- and perhaps- for those who have participated in one- the bronze game can be a tough match to be excited for. Both teams wishing they were in the gold match rather than their current situation. There is still a medal on the line- it still means something- it just takes time to process a loss less than 24 hours later.

During the match itself- it looks like the teams are trying to be excited – it is just tough to get the energy up. Coaches are trying to get them going, players are trying to get going. There is an exchange of good plays but nobody is getting too pumped up.

Josh Aperloo (13) hitting against the George Elliot block. (Vancouver Sports Pictures)

Josh Aperloo (13) hitting against the George Elliot block. (Vancouver Sports Pictures)

George Elliot just seemed to run out of gas in the fifth set and Abby Christian finishes with a 15-6 win.  Congrats to both teams for solid seasons.

Coach Anthony Janzen on the win,

“we went through a bunch of emotions tonight….I think we maintained our game longer than they (George Elliot) did.”

Anthony Janzen during a timeout in the Bronze Match.

Anthony Janzen during a timeout in the Bronze Match.


Abbotsford Christian AA Bronze 2019. (Vancouver SPorts Pictures)

Abbotsford Christian AA Bronze 2019. (Vancouver SPorts Pictures)

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Claremont comes out Focused and wins Bronze

Claremont comes out Focused and wins Bronze


The 3A Bronze medal game between Claremont Spartans and Okanagan-Mission Huskies was a match-up between the number three and seventh ranked teams respectively as they were entering the tournament. On the big stage and on the big court- as the match played out- it looked like OKM showed some youthful nerves as a team. On the other hand, Claremont looked like a team that wanted revenge for a loss from the previous night’s exciting close semi-final. Claremont’s coach Shon Ryan, ”

“KSS was a tough loss but nice for us to bounce back today. It’s a tough game to win….There was a lot of disappointment last night but today we were pretty focused….It’s not what we were hoping for but I’m proud of the guys….It’s a great group.”

Claremont really dominated at every aspect of the match and deserved the convincing victory 3-0.

Claremont-11- Ethan Boag - hitting past OKM in the bronze match.

Claremont-11- Ethan Boag – hitting past OKM in the bronze match. (Vancouver Sports Pictures- John Hayduk)


Claremont’s Ethan Boag, a 2019 AAA first team all-star, comments on today’s match:

“I thought we improved a lot. Our passing started out shaky but got a lot better.”

 Boag also said about their over-all tournament play:

“Being from the island we don’t get as many great reps but when we came here it just upped our compete level.”

OKM veteran coach Paul Thiessen commented after his team’s loss on the match,

“We are a young team… I have 11 players that are in grade 10 or 11, and only 1 grade 12…. We are making the right steps, we are not there yet, but there is a lot of learning going on out there.”

See the fully interview in the link below:


 Quinn Pitcher of OKM passing a ball in the Bronze match. (Vancouver Sports Pictures)

Quinn Pitcher of OKM passing a ball in the Bronze match. (Vancouver Sports Pictures- John Hayduk)




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Lightning re-set, take AA bronze

Lightning re-set, take AA bronze

Langley Christian's #8 Caleb Kastelein ready to serve.

Langley Christian’s #8 Caleb Kastelein ready to serve.

By Bob Carter

Langley Christian’s Caleb Kastelein finished the season Saturday at Langley Events Centre the way he played all year, with a strong performance.
The Grade 12’s hit off a blocker completed a 3-0 victory over College Heights that gave LCS the AA bronze medal at the Kahunaverse Sports BC Volleyball Championships.

“He has been so good all year long, but he hasn’t gotten the recognition that others have,” Lightning coach Brynden MacTavish said. “I think he opened a lot of eyes.”

MacTavish thought his team played “fantastic,” especially considering the letdown of losing a semifinal the night before.

“They stayed the course, as they have all year,” he said. “This might be one of the stronger mental groups I’ve had. They realized the game is still a big deal. These kind of games show the immense character you need to play well in them.”

MacTavish also made note of the progress made by Grade 12 Evan Vanderveen. “All year we were trying to figure out who was going to be our second middle, and he blocked out of his mind.”
The Saturday game was also enormously difficult for College Heights, which played a great match Friday. CH was a point away from a five-set win against George Elliot and a spot in the finals only to end up losing 17-15.
The Cougars had been ranked No. 2 in AA much of the season.

EAGLES PLACE FIFTH: MEI grabbed fifth place in AA by beating Surrey Christian 2-0.

#8 Ethan Loewen of MEI brings the team together after a point.

#8 Ethan Loewen of MEI brings the team together after a point.

The Eagles had lost a five-setter to Abby Christian in the quarterfinals (15-12), but worked their way back.

“When you lose a quarterfinal as tight as that was,” said MEI coach Jeremy Lieuwen, “it always shows the character of the team when they have to go on and play. The kids managed it well.”
Lieuwen has high praise for outside hitter Jackson Klaassen and the consistency he showed during the season and in the BCs.
“He was always able to elevate to the next level when needed,” the coach said. “And from a leadership standpoint, he helped whenever the guys got down.”
KELLY ROAD SEVENTH: Kelly Road, which lost three 3-Setters in pool play, ended up seventh. The Roadrunners defeated Richmond Christian in 3 (15-12).
Ninth place went to Prince Charles, which beat Pacific Christian in two straight.
Windermere defeated Lambrick Park 2-0 to take 13th.
SEEDING HOLDS UP: It’s time to salute the zone reps who seeded all the AAA and AA teams for the BCs.

The original top four AAA seeds — Earl Marriott, Van Tech, Claremont and Moscrop — all made the semifinals.
In AA, the top three seeds (George Elliot, College Heights and Langley Christian) qualified for the semis.
The breakthrough team was sixth seed Abby Christian, which bumped MEI, the original No. 4 seed, with a five-set victory (15-12) in the quarterfinals.
Additional evidence, perhaps, was the number of close matches in Wednesday’s pool play.
In each division 50 percent of the matches went to three sets — 15 of 30 in AAA and 12 of 24 in AA.
Two teams, AA’s Revelstoke and Kelly Road, went to a third set in all three of their pool matches. Revelstoke went 1-2 and Kelly Road 0-3.
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Dover Bay, MEI wear bronze

Dover Bay, MEI wear bronze

#9 from Dover Bay pumps a fist as they win bronze. PHOTO: Paul Yates, Vancouver Sports Pictures.

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.

June 19 2015 BC Lions vs Ed

MEI enacts their excitement. PHOTO: Paul Yates, Vancouver Sports Pictures.

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.”


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Dover Bay, PA snare bronze

Dover Bay, PA snare bronze

By Bob Carter

Josie Webb celebrates with Dover Bay as they win the Bronze medal.

Josie Webb celebrates with Dover Bay as they win the Bronze medal.

An emotional Josie Webb turned to a well-wisher Saturday at the Langley Events Centre, pumped her fist and screamed “Dover Bay history!”

If that sounds strange after winning a third-place match, the scene requires some perspective.

Webb, the Dover Bay coach, had just seen her top-seeded team win a AAA bronze medal with a three-set win over a talented Moscrop squad and gain the highest finish in school history.

Jeff Webb, her son, had just played his last high school match, finishing with a flourish.
And the Dolphins had done it in their unimitable style, surviving when it looked like they couldn’t.

Down 8-1 in the deciding third set, Dover rallied.

“I told them what I always do,” Webb said. “You’ve been through this a million times. You can do it one more time.”

And they did.

“The passing started happening,” she said. “We were able to get the ball out to Jeff a lot. Moscrop was hitting deep, and I had my powers playing back, where they could pass better. And Quinn Mirau also had some crucial hits.”

The Dolphins closed the gap, took the final three points and won it 18-25, 25-23, 17-15.
AA: Pacific Academy rebounded from an upset loss to Langley Fundamental in Friday’s semifinals and defeated Clarence Fulton for third place, 25-11, 25-20.
“I just told the boys to forget about it,” PA coach Daniel Vissia said, “told them they were a better team than they showed yesterday, to just come out and play like they can. And we had to focus on their big guy (Danny Aspenlieder).”

The second-seeded Breakers grabbed control early in the first set and pulled away late in the second. Setter Andrew Kim, libero Danny Kott and outside hitter Nate Teasdale were big contributors.

Vissia was pleased with his team’s overall performance in the BC’s.

“We played like we know how, except for one game,” said Vissia, whose team fell in four sets to Fundamental. “They were prepared.”

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