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.
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.