The Carihi Tyees senior girls volleyball team has repeated as silver medallists at the BC Secondary School Provincial Championships.
The Tyees fell in straight sets 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-20) to Vancouver’s Little Flower Academy (LFA) Angels in the final Saturday afternoon in Langley.
While it was a tough loss, coach Jacquie Chase says the team is holding their heads high.
“Even though we fell short in the finals, I was so happy with the season with these young women,” she says. “I saw a lot of support and a lot of caring and very classy behaviour from these girls. They were very disappointed at the end of that final, but they went and they shook (hands) and they congratulated a great LFA team.
“I just couldn’t be more proud of these young women. They are amazing young women.”
Emoni Bush was named a First Team All-Star, while Ashton Bruining was named a Second Team All-Star and Paige Davidson was named an Honourable Mention All-Star.
Carihi was dominant all tournament long and had only dropped one set over six games to the Dawson Creek Penguins in the semifinals.
“During the round-robin play we had basically everyone who was on the court was contributing and doing positive things,” says Chase.
She cites outside hitter Emoni Bush and libero Paige Davidson as being real difference-makers on the court.
“(Emoni) just played almost flawlessly through the round-robin and our first two playoff games,” she says. “(Paige) played magnificent, just controlled the back court and provided a ton of leadership and focus on the court, which was great.
“(Paige) and Emoni were truly the two all-stars of our team this tournament.”
Austin Cameron and Reese Davidson shone as blockers, while Emma Knight and Davidson set up the offence.
The Tyees beat Salish in the round of 16 3-0 (25-16, 25-14, 25-12) and Duchess Park in the quarter-finals 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-21). They advanced to the final with a semifinal victory 3-1 (25-22, 22-25, 25-21, 25-17) over the Penguins.
Since earning the school’s first silver medal at provincials last year, their season-long destination has been a re-appearance in the provincial final. Last year, the Tyees fell in five sets, losing the tiebreaker set 16-14 to Crofton House.
Chase says the team really wanted a spot in the final again this year.
“Unfortunately in the finals, we just lost steam and it was also a new experience for a lot of those kids and I think that inexperience caught up with us and they just didn’t play their best,” says Chase. “We’ll chalk that up to experience and hopefully be back there next year.”
The team, which features nine Grade 11 players, two Grade 12 players and one Grade 10 player, was the second seed heading into the tournament. Earlier in November, they’d won the Island Championship and have been playing AAAA tournaments all season long to push themselves.
Of the two graduating players, Reanna Botel and Jana Hobenshield, Chase says the team will miss Botel’s “incredible serve” and Hobenshield’s hardworking attitude.
While it was a straight set loss in the final, it was really close throughout the game and the team only lost the sets by a couple of points each time.
“It was so close. It was really close. It was just a few more things that we had to do,” says Chase. “I think the girls just felt really disappointed because they know they can play better.
“We’ll learn from this. I think we’ll take a lot away from that … I think that experience is going to motivate them for the next year.”
Dawson Creek defeated W.L. Seaton in the bronze-medal game.
Up next for the Tyees is a bit of a break.
“They are going to take a nice long week off and I hope they don’t do any volleyball,” says Chase. “I hope they don’t even think about volleyball for a week.”
Then, if they choose to continue training through the winter, club tryouts will be next.
The Tyees’ provincials games should be available to watch on their Youtube channel.