It’s a game people are going to talk about for a while.
The Semiahmoo Secondary School Totems jumped out to a two sets to none lead on the Mt. Baker Secondary School Wild, only to watch the Wild claw themselves back into the match, taking the Totems to the limit in a nail-biting, 25-21, 25-22, 25-18, 12-25, 15-12 win.
“I did not let them off the floor,” said Totems head coach Michael Sapic as he explained how he handled his team heading into the deciding fifth set after dropping sets three and four.
And after that, Sapic began screaming encouraging word to his team, saying that the two sets they just lost didn’t matter anymore.
“I was trying to bring their emotions back up,” Sapic smiled as he celebrated with his team. “I said look, at the beginning of the season you thought we’d be in a fifth set for a Provincial Final, I think you’d be pretty happy with that, so let’s go and take it.”
The inspiring speech changed the Totems mood immediately, as they fired on all cylinders in the final set.
The play of Grade 11 setter, Jag Gill came around in that set, and he was lights out setting tournament MVP, Mike Dowhaniuk.
“He was lofting the ball a bit too high to Mike and he likes a faster ball, and so they were able to load up their blockers on Mike,” Explained Sapic as he talked about his setter that had only played the position for a mere three months. “But I think he adapted and by the fifth set they were faster.”
Dowhaniuk was just as complimentary about Gill’s play in the final set.
“When it came right down to it he really stepped up,” Dowhaniuk said. “I think he stepped into a big role for us and it was great having him all year to set me.”
After the win, Dowhaniuk said both championships are moments he’ll cherish for the rest of his life. A feeling that is shared with Grade 12 teammate, and First-Team All Star, Braxton Campbell.
“It’s an indescribable feeling, definitely better than last year,” Campbell said grinning ear-to-ear.
It’s unfortunate that in a Gold Medal game as good as this, someone need to go home with the Silver Medal. Still, with that in mind, Wild head coach Karley Ferner is proud of her team’s efforts in adding third Silver Medal to her school’s collection.
When the Wild were trailing two sets to none, Ferner modestly said she just never stopped cheering, believing in them and reminding them that the next point is theirs.
“I try to get them to rally each other instead of me trying to rally them, because they work the best when they’re building each other up.”
After the match, she called the second place finish bitter sweet. Sure they are happy to be returning home with a medal after an 11th place finish last year, but the loss still stings.
Earl Marriott captured the Bronze Medal, 25-22, 23-25, 25-13, 25-21 over Seaquam
It was an exciting evening of volleyball action at the Langley Events Centre as both the Abbotsford Christian Knights and Langley Christian Lightning advanced to the BC AA High School Senior Volleyball Championships final.
Both schools are only separated by a mere 33 km, so it should be a rowdy night tomorrow, as these two Fraser Valley rivals clash at the Langley Events Centre at 7:00pm.
After a hard fought, very close four set win (28-26, 25-20, 25-27, 25-21) over a scrappy Duchess Park Condors team, Head coach Carol Hofer and the Lightning look forward to the challenge of meeting their Fraser Valley rival in the final.
“It was a tough match because it was an emotional match and I think Duchess just kind of lost control of themselves and that was the turning point for us,” Hofer said as she received congratulations after the big win.
Hofer will also hoping for a three-peat of sorts, as she has lead the her son Brodie and the Lightning to a Junior Boys Provincial Championship in 2015 and a AA Provincial Championship last season. Something she says that if they’re able to pull it off it would be pretty special.
“Overall, I feel great and I think our team is really starting to play well,” Hofer said. “We got better each match and we still have room to get better yet, so we’re in good shape for tomorrow.”
And as for what Hofer feels the keys to victory are in tomorrow’s final, she replied, we’re going to have to serve tough, block well and hit the ball well.
Knights Advance to Final
In the other semi-final, behind one of the loudest crowds in high school sports, the Abbotsford Christian Knights knocked off the tournament’s biggest surprise, the College Heights Cougars in four sets (25-22, 20-25, 25-18, 25-18).
Head coach Anthony Janzen was pleased with how his team preformed tonight, calling it a real team effort with all seven guys firing on all cylinders, including 16U Canadian National Team member, Cole Brandsma.
“Cole Brandsma was lights out today,” Janzen said as he celebrated the win with his team. “He’s definitely is a superstar, but he was certainly supported by six other awesome players today.”
Janzen believes the turning point of the match happened in the third set when his team flipped a switch and really started to believe they could win.
The Knights now look forward to meeting a team they are very familiar with having played them six or so times this year.
“Langley is an awesome team with an awesome player (Brodie Hofer), and an awesome supporting cast,” Janzen said. “We’ve fought back and forth with them all season, and I think they’ve won four times and we’ve won two, but if we play like we did today and make it a team effort, and all of our big guys are hitting, we match up really well against them.”
Janzen also added that winning a title at AA to go with the one the Knights won at Single A in 2014 would be pretty special for a team that wasn’t even at AA High School Provincials last season, because they did not qualify.
For the rest of today’s AA High School Boys Volleyball results, CLICK HERE.