Both the U16 and U15 girls club volleyball teams from Terrace won gold in provincials in Abbotsford early this month.
U16 Terrace Rage won all three round robin games, beating teams from Vernon, Whiterock and Victoria and finishing first in their pool. Next they faced BCO Vancouver, where they came out strong and beat the team in two sets, winning 25-19 and 15-12.
In semifinals, the Rage faced Kelowna in a strong, close match.
“They had some great players and a big power hitter that pounds the ball,” said coach Mark Neid.
But the Rage blockers shut down the big hitter and the team ran middle attacks and made strong serves to earn the victory in three sets (with scores 25-18, 22-25, and 15-9).
The girls were riding high as they launched into the final game against Burnaby Action.
The score stayed close and jumped back and forth in the first set, but the Rage squeaked out a tight win 28-26. In the second set, the Rage took advantage of a few Burnaby errors, and won 25-20 to earn the gold.
“We won as a unit, with all players contributing,” said Neid. “Our team has worked hard this past month on passing to be able to run a quick offence which other teams couldn’t keep up with.”
The girls head to Calgary for nationals on May 21-23, and then six members of the team are trying out for BC regional team in Prince George on May 28.
Raging U15 girls
U15 Terrace Rage also earned gold in their provincials, competing against 12 other teams in their division. They won their first two round robin games in two straight sets against Victoria Red and then Vancouver Black Voltage. Then they beat Penticton Volleytech in a tight match with three close sets to earn a bye into the semifinals.
They faced Burnaby Focus Primo in the semifinal game, which was “very challenging and physically exhausting,” said coach Frank Marrelli.
They won the first set 25-20 and lost the second 18-25. In the third set, Jessica Falardeau led the team with strong serves, and the girls won the set 15-2.
“Both teams battled for consistency but nerves and confidence took over,” said Marrelli of the match.
In finals, the Rage faced North Shore Stars from Vancouver.
Tired from the previous match, the Rage fell behind very quickly in the first set and suffered a dismal 7-25 loss.
But the Rage rallied back in the second set, with great setting and smart attacks to earn a 25-20 win.
Both teams stepped it up in the third set, fighting some nerves, but strong serving allowed Rage to beat the Stars 15-12 and win the gold.
Marrelli said it was an amazing achievement for a team with only nine players, four of whom had very limited tournament experience compared to other teams. He and co-coach Jennifer Lindstrom thank parents and the Terrace community for their support.
More Terrace teams
Terrace’s U17 girls won fourth in division 3 nationals, which is one level higher competition then before. Coach Tyler Clarke said they chose to compete at that level in order to challenge the girls with tougher competition, and it really elevated their game.
The U14 girls finished 15th in provincials, competing against very talented teams. They were ‘in’ every game they played and had some strong rallies, despite limited experience, said coach Carmen Didier. They “are strong, coachable athletes and assuming they continue to play… I believe we will see [future medals].”