The Highland Raiders senior girls volleyball team started their season strong by winning the season-opening Campbell River Christian School Tournament on the weekend.
With only one player returning from last year’s team, this rookie group played with heart and determination. They battled more experienced teams to prove team work, attitude and determination win over experience every time.
All the girls played exceptionally, with excellent offense provided by Mychaela Roelants, Melissa Betts and Amanda Sinclair. Jayme Graham and Madi Wells where instrumental in many key plays. Novice Anna Gummer proved her worth under pressure.
With only a couple of practices behind them, the Raiders got off to a rocky start, splitting many games to finish third in their pool and get a tough draw going into the medal rounds. With every player on the long bench getting playing time, Highland beat Shawnigan Lake in the crossover round.
This put them up against an exceptionally strong John Barsby team who had lost only one set in the round robin. With strong defence and great pressure plays the Raiders outlasted their opponent and moved on to the gold medal match against Wellington.
The Raiders were outplayed in the first set, losing 25-15. This mature group of players didn’t let this setback get them down. They started the next set calm and confident, playing an exciting game that went back and forth until it was Betts’ turn to serve. Her powerful serve seemed to unnerve the opponents and Highland took the second set 25-19.
Coming off a strong second game and a Spanish cheer from exchange student Forencia Fernandez, the team was unstoppable in the third set. They gelled like they had been together for years – strong serves; strong defence and power offence unnerved their opponent. Highland controlled the game with an impressive 15-5 score to claim the gold medal. A very deserving Mickey Roelants was tournament MVP.
– Highland Raiders Volleyball