Young volleyball teams have room to grow next season

Terrace Volleyball teams travelled to the BC Provincial championships at the beginning of the month

Terrace Volleyball teams travelled to the BC Provincial championships at the beginning of the month, and while they didn’t come out on top, the experience helped prep the young teams for next year.

In Kelowna ending the weekend of Dec. 1, Centennial Christian School came 7th out of 12 teams in the A BC Boys Provincial Championships.

“It was a good tournament,” said coach Joel Ringma. “We had the misfortune of one of our starters (Lucas Lanterman) staying home sick and another (Cole Nutma) injured himself in the hotel pool on our first day, leaving us with seven players, two of whom were Grade 8 players.”

No other team of the 48 teams at the tournament had even one Grade 8 player, he said. “While we may not have achieved as well as some may have hoped, we responded well to adversity and had some outstanding and inspirational performances.”

“Kenton Veldman was recognized as an all-star and, had we finished higher in the standings, Nathan Struyk would have been formally recognized as well.”

The teams middle players, Jason Bandstra and Vidar Sandals played some of their best volleyball of the season and Mason Kroeker, Lucas Mantel and Evan Veldman weren’t intimidated by the big stage of provincials, he said.

The team had a particularly outstanding match against eventual winner #1 ranked Kelowna Christian, taking two sets off of them and giving them a big scare in front of their hometown fans in the quarter-final game.

“All in all, I was proud of the way our team played, how well they represented our school and the NorthWest zone and the clear enjoyment and fun they had playing volleyball at the Provincial Championship level and enjoying the gifts God has given them,” said Ringma.

Caledonia Secondary School, another young team—the team is made up of mostly Grade 10 and 11 boys, and faced teams made up of primarily Grade 12’s, competed in the AAA division of the BC Boys Championships in Kelowna, and placed 20th.

“The tournament was a bit disappointing, but I think my younger guys learned a lot,” said coach Keith Axelson, noting the player of the tournament was Grade 12 Marcus MacKay.

“Marcus was a leader on the court and played with a lot of heart all week,” he said.

The tournament started off well, with the boys winning two out of the three round robin games, setting up a match against Ballenas from Vancouver Island, the number two seed coming off the Island.

“We had to win that match to get into the championship round,” he said. “And ultimately, we fell short.”

They won the first set, but lost the next three, which placed them back in the consolation round.

“The team never really looked the same from that point on,” he said.

The team then suffered loses to two teams they had won against before, Mount Baker from Cranbrook, who they’d defeated two straight in the round robin and Kelley Road from Prince George, who they’d defeated earlier in the season at a Prince George tournament.

“We were a fairly young team compared to our competition,” he said. “Hopefully this will bode well for next year.”

Almost half-a-dozen starters will be returning next year. “There’s a pretty good core group to build with for next year,” he said.