The Timberline Senior Girls Brought home silver from this year’s BC AAA girls volleyball championships held in Vancovuer last weekend.
The Wolves went in to the event as the sixth seed and exceeded all expectations when they reached the final. Coach Terry Philp said the team’s motto going in was “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.” And that proved to be true.
“We had had difficulties finishing in previous tournaments and really need to work on stringing a series of matches together and we did just that,” Philp said. “After losing in the Island final to Carihi, we used that to motivate, instead of discourage, us. Our focus for the two weeks leading to provincials was mental toughness training. That paid off and we peaked at the right time.”
In pool play, their first match was against Caledonia and they came out a little flat, Philp said.
“I think nerves were part of the issue, but we did what we needed to do and beat them 22-25, 25-12, 18-16.”
Next up was Windsor whom they beat in straight sets 25-15; 25-15. Finally they met the No. 4 seed, Langley Secondary and beat them 25-21, 25-10. This bumped Timberline up to No. 4 spot for the play-off round.
Their first playoff match was against another North Island Team, Alberni. Timberline won the best of five match in straight sets, 25-15, 25-18, 25-20 and this moved us into the quarter-final against the number 3 seed, Seaton of Vernon. They had a bumpy start with a few distractions as one of their starters left her jersey at the hotel. They couldn’t get it until the end of the first set but managed to focus and recover, winning 21-25, 25-10, 25-23, 25-23. This advanced Timberline to the semi-final.
The team was ecstatic about advancing to the semirs.
“Our goal was top 4 and we were there,” Phillp said. “We already knew who we would face in the semi-final as we learned that Carihi had lost to the number one seed, Little Flower Academy and we were to play the winner of that match. Little Flower had beaten us in our own tournament final at the beginning of November and was undefeated though the season.”
Little Flower had beaten Carihi 32-30, 16-25, 25-13, 25-13 and Timberline knew they were in for a battle. Little Flower was also the reigning provincial champions and had experience on their side.
Timberline went into the match with a definite plan and executed it brilliantly, beating them 25-16; 25-16; 12-25, 25-11. This was a huge upset and put them into the final.
“What an amazing feeling that was and it was so unexpected,” Philp said.
In the final they played the home team, Crofton House, who had breezed through the play-off round.
“They are big and have a few experienced Team BC players and are very tough. We fought hard and played great defence but just couldn’t stop their big hitters. The final scores were 23-25, 20-25, 23-25. We were close but they just had too much fire power.”
“We are not disappointed in any way,” Philp said. “The girls are so proud of their accomplishment and handled themselves with such class. I am an extremely proud coach and I know the memeroies from this tournament will last a lifetime for these girls.”
Individual honors went to Julia Kretzschmar and Saje Kurpiela who were both named to the first all-star team. Every player on my team contributed to this achievement. Some played a lot, some played a little, but they all trained hard to make each other better and develop as a true team.
There were a record number of North Island teams in the tournament. Timberline was 2nd, Mark Isfeld was 4th, Carihi 5th, Nanaimo 8th and Port Alberni was 11th.
“We all supported each other with the slogan, ‘Island Strong,’” Philp said.