The Carihi girls volleyball team rally against Nanaimo District Secondary School Saturday afternoon in the semi-final of the North Island Championships hosted by Timberline.

Wolves narrowly miss tourney title

The Timberline Senior Girls Volleyball Team, currently ranked ninth in the province in AAA, are one step closer to its season goal

The Timberline Senior Girls Volleyball Team, currently ranked ninth in the province in AAA, are one step closer to its  season goal. That goal is to reach the BC Championships at the end of November in Vancouver.

The Wolves placed third last weekend at the North Island Championships, behind the number two and five-ranked AAA teams in B.C., which it hosted last Friday and Saturday.

In pool play, Timberline beat Wellington 25-13; 25-18, then defeated Brooks25-7;25-8. The Wolves biggest challenge of Round Robin play was against NDSS of Nanaimo, the second ranked team in B.C.

“My team is very young and much less experienced than Nanaimo, but we gave them a huge challenge and were so close to beating them,” said Terry Philp, Timberline head coach. “It was very exciting volleyball, featuring long rallies with great defence and huge hits. We lost the first game 20-25 but came back in the second game to win decisively 25-14. In the third and deciding set it was a back and fourth battle in front of a very appreciative crowd. We came out on the losing side, 19-21. We had them at match point a few times but just couldn’t finish. It was a great experience for my young team. We are playing with six Grade 10s, three Grade 11s and two Grade 12s and the young players really gain a lot from these tough matches.”

At the end of Round Robin play, Timberline finished second in its pool.

Meanwhile, in the other pool, Carihi, ranked tenth in B.C., beat Frances Kelsey 23-25; 25-20; 18-16 andMark Isfeld 25-11; 9-25; 15-12. Next up for Carihi was the number five team in B.C., Ballenas from Parksville. Ballenas won 25-22; 25-10, so Carihi finished second in its pool. The Tyees, lead by a very talented senior setter, Claire McLoughlin, faced a lot of injuries during the tournament and fought hard throughout.

In the play-off round, Carihi played Mark Isfeld of Comox, beating them 25-22; 25-16 to adavance to the semi-fnal. Carihi played Wellington and won 25-21; 25-12 to advance to the other semi-final.

In semi-final 1, Timberline met Ballenas and lost another tight three-set match 25-19; 23-25; 11-15.

“Once again we fought hard but just had trouble closing,” Philp said. “Carihi also lost their semi-final to NDSS 21-25; 24-26 in a hard-fought match.”

NDSS won the tournament in three sets over Ballenas.

Timberline took third after defeating Carihi in the bronze game 25-15; 25-18.

Throughout the tournament, Vanessa Schulz lead the Wolves in kills, followed closely behind by Sarah Chase. Chase lead the team in service aces, followed by Brooklyn Reesor, Farryn Elhorn and Nicole Herbert.

“I am very excited about the future of girls volleyball at Timberline,” Philp said. “It is amazing that we are holding our own against these much-older teams.