The Campbell River Crush U18 girls captured the Island club championship in Victoria last weekend. In the front (from left) are Megan Oakley

One title down, two to go for Crush

The Campbell River Crush U18 girls volleyball team captured the Island Club Championship last weekend in Victoria.

The Campbell River Crush U18 girls volleyball team captured the Island Club Championship last weekend in Victoria.

Crush was unstoppable in the first match against the Powell River Aces. Campbell River attacked and served with authority in winning easily, 25-4, 25-2.

Everyone played well, said coach Terry Philp. Megan Oakley, playing libero for an injured Janine Branchi, did a great job on defense while Brechan Campbell went on an extremely long serving run to take charge of the first set.

In the semi-final, featured the Crush knocked off Victoria 25-15, 25-12.

“In both sets we started off slowly and I had to call early time outs to regroup the girls,” said Philp. “They stayed composed and went back to the plan of being aggressive.”

Setter Rhaya Howich had an awesome day as she really hustled, ran a great offense and served very well.

The final featured Nanaimo and Crush. The two teams have battled in previous tournaments and Nanaimo had really improved, so the local girls knew it would be the toughest match of the tournament.

The match went three sets. In all three games, Crush was in a deficit and had to claw out wins.

The scores were 25-19, 19-25 and 15-11. In the third set, Campbell River was down 10-4 when Philp called a timeout because the girls were playing really tight and making too many mental errors.

And then Crucsh got the side out as Keltie Pike went back to serving bullets against Nanaimo. This made it so difficult for Nanaimo to launch an attack. Kelsey Bergey and Brechan Campbell got a few key blocks that really frustrated Nanaimo. The last few points included two unbelievably hard kills from power hitter Sophie Cameron who was determined to put that set away. Ashley Simpkins, the other power hitter, played amazing defense and was so steady all day.

The team will spend the next few weeks preparing for the provincial and national championships.

“We have lots to work on, but the girls are really excited to be Island champs,” said Philp.

You can see the girls in action tonight (Wednesday), when they take on the Timberline alumni squad which captured the provincial high school title in 2007. Game time is 6 p.m. in the Timberline gym.

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