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Kelowna Christian champions, host DCS 13th
Sixteen teams competing over three days produced some intense volleyball in the provincial senior girls’ A championships at Duncan Christian School.
Kelowna Christian took the provincial crown with a 25-21, 26-24, 19-25, 25-12 victory over runner-up Immaculata in Saturday night’s final. Host Duncan Christian finished down the line in 13th, but had a great season and was in contention during a couple of tough losses at the provincials.
“Provincials is always a tournament to definitely grow and learn as a volleyball player,’’ said DCS player Brenna Bazinet, who’s only in Grade 10 and will be an even brighter star in the next two years under the direction of coach Dave Vanderschaaf.
“This year I definitely learned to make my serves and hits more consistent,’’ Bazinet added. “Dave helped me with a different approach so I could get higher in the air and consistently hit the ball.’’
There were pleasing aspects to the DCS Chargers’ games, Bazinet conceded, but the players know a couple of games got away on them.
“I think we could have done better than we did,’’ she said.
“The way we played together in the games we didn’t do our best in really helped to grow as a team. Everyone on our team’s pretty strong in our own ways.’’
Bazinet’s sister and captain Becky is the only player in Grade 12 who won’t be back next season so it should be a promising point of development for the Chargers. Becky went out on a high note, giving everything she had to lead her team.
“I’m not disappointed about it,’’ she said. “We’re in the top 16 teams in the province.’’
When you consider there’s about 51 A teams in the province, Bazinet felt DCS did very well in the big picture.
“Looking at the beginning of the season, I didn’t think we would have done as good,’’ she said.
DCS could easily have placed higher with one more win and it was a bit tough to take seeing Island rival Campbell River Christian in ninth place.
“One game kind of decides it all when you cross over,’’ said Becky Bazinet. “Losing that puts us in the bottom half.’’
DCS lost to Carver 15-25, 19-25 and Kelowna 7-25, 19-25 Thursday before beating Chetwynd 25-16, 25-19.
Friday’s results included three-set losses to Langley Christian 22-25, 9-25, 18-25 and Bulkley Valley 25-21, 19-25, 13-15.
A pair of victories Saturday — 25-15, 20-25, 15-12 over Vernon Christian and 25-14, 23-25, 16-14 over A.L. Fortune — ended the tournament on a high note.
“I was very happy with how they played for the most part,’’ said Vanderschaaf.
“We’ll definitely look to improve on 13th, for sure. We won’t have host berth so we’ll have to earn our way to provincials.’’
Vanderschaaf enjoyed working with the girls, who gave it all their all in every situation.
“It was a fun team,’’ he said. “I think they gelled pretty well together. We had a lot of good moments throughout the season.’’
The Chargers’ Danielle Groenendijk, still only in Grade 9, was an honourable mention for all-star status.
Michaylee Pucilowski of Kelowna Christian was named the most outstanding player of the tournament.
The first team all-stars included: Kelowna Christian’s Cheyenne Heidebrecht and Hailey Blaskovits; Immaculata’s Megan Hart and Caroline Livingston; Langley Christian’s Sarah Kunst and Cedars Christian’s Kristin Anton.
Named to the second team were: Megan Karpenko and Hannah Pudlas (Cedars); Natalie Livingston (Immaculata); Brooke Mothe (White Rock Christian); Kaitlyn Falk (Campbell River Christian) and Marieke De Vyncka (Langley Christian).
Kelowna Christian’s Amanda Hardy was the outstanding libero.