Girls’ volleyball play day sets up season

While the Jr. Boys team is still on the lookout for a coach

Caledonia Secondary School hosted its first tournament of the girls’ volleyball season last weekend, with teams from Smithers and Houston going up against the Caledonia Kermodes and the Skeena Middle School Grade 9’s.

“My girls got off to a slow start, losing two straight to Smithers Secondary,” said Caledonia coach Adri MacKay.

But the team bounced back defeating Bulkley Valley Christian School in two straight games, then meeting Houston in the final, beating them handily in two straight games as well.

Skeena saw two losses and one win, but coach Frank Marrelli said that for both Terrace teams the tournament was a warm up to the season, a chance to try new players and switch up roles.

“They were all close games, very close, and could’ve went either way,” he said of the games.

“We (both him and MacKay) summed it up with the words ‘inconsistent play’.

“It sort of went up and down all day. And I think part of it was the obvious – being new, nerves, trying things that they hadn’t done before, that sort of thing,” he said, referencing the new players. “We’re hoping they get more comfortable in their roles and then we’ll have a more consistent result, that’s the goal.”

The tournament was a soft opening to the rest of the season.

“It was an icebreaker for most teams to try new systems, try new players in different roles, and the results may not be a thermometer of how the kids are doing yet because we’re working in the regard of increasing participation and experimentation rather than being severely competitive,” he said. “That’s not really our goal in these in these initial games.”

But that’s not the case for the Kodiak Classic in Prince George, which both teams are headed to this weekend.

“We are certainly going there in a competitive move,” he said. “We want to do well and there will be a little more restriction when it comes to who is doing what based on what we’ve been noticing.”

Last year, Skeena took the top spot at the Kodiak Classic.

“We were victorious last year in the B division so we’re going there to try to defend our last year’s standing,” he said.

Caledonia is competing in the A division.

“Hopefully we come back with some good news for you on Sunday,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Sr. Boys volleyball season kicks off in Houston this weekend, with a number of other away tournaments across the northwest before their first home tournament at the beginning of November.

And the fate of the Jr. Boys volleyball season is still unknown – it’s getting down to the wire and the athletic department is yet to secure a coach.

“It’s never happened that we’ve never fielded a team and it has to do with not having a coach, not the players,” said Marrelli, who is Skeena’s athletic director. “I haven’t given up yet but it’s coming down to a very fine timeline how much time we give it. We’re doing our best.”