Timberline’s Courtney Wilson prepares to pound the ball in a match Friday afternoon against Courtenay’s Highland School during the Senior Girls Volleyball Tournament hosted by Timberline.

Wolves put in AAA effort

Timberline Senior Girls Volleyball Wolves can expect to move up the provincial rankings

Timberline Senior Girls Volleyball Wolves can expect to move up the provincial rankings after losing in the final to third ranked Lambrick Park of Victoria on the weekend.

Timberline hosted eight teams in a tournament at the school Friday and Saturday. The field featured some of the top ranked teams in B.C.

The Wolves placed second, losing in the final to Lambrick Park who are ranked third in B.C. and went through the tournament without losing a set. Timberline was ranked eighth in AAA last week, but should move up after this performance.

On day one, Timberline lost two matches in pool play. Both matches were against higher ranked teams and both went to three games. The first was against Highland. They lost the first set 16-25, then rebounded to win the second 25-20 but dropped the third set 12-15. Highland is a big team with some great hitters and we were struggling with our consistency. Against Hugh McRoberts of Richmond, we played great and  won the first set 25-14. In the second set we were leading 22-17 but allowed them back in and they beat us 24-26. It was too hard to rebound from that disappointment and we lost the 3rd set. After that match, I discovered that the girls were allowing themselves to think negatively and desperately which was causing a number of mental errors.

“Once we straightened that out and worked on staying in the moment, and keeping thoughts positive we were able to move forward,” Timberline coach Terry Philp said. “After that, we went six straight sets without a loss. This was a break through for us as we’ve had trouble stringing together consecutive quality games.”

Their final round robin match was against Claremont of Victoria whom they beat 25-16 and 25-10. This put Thimberline third in theirpool which, despite earlier disappointments, was where they were seeded.

Play-offs were next. They faced Belmont of Victoria who had placed second in the other pool. They beat them two straight, 25-17 ; 25- 12; gettingkey blocks in that game from Courtney Wilson, Farryn Elhorn and Myranda Maurer. Tasia Herbert, our setter, did a great job of maximizing the Timberline hitter’s success. Rachael Hanna hit hard and served tough to force errors from Belmont. This advanced Timberline to the semi-final. They were happy at this point as they knew they were now top four in the tournament which is good for them because we were the #6 seed. In the semi-final Timberline faced Highland, again. They had beaten them twice before this and are a great team. Timberline came out on fire and beat them convincingly 25-19; 25-12. Vanessa Schulz, a grade 11 power hitter, lead the team in kills. She’s very small, but played like she was a giant, powering through the Highland blockers, Philp said. Meghan Oakley and Kyla Arnink, back row defensive specialists, came up with some big digs for the Wolves.

“My girls were so happy to be in the final,” Philp said. “It was unexpected and exciting. Going into the final we knew we were up against a power house team. The first set was very one-sided and they beat us 17-25. In the second set, our nerves were settled and we battled the entire game. It was back and forth with long rallies. At one point, we tied the game 22 all and they called a time-out to try and break our momentum. Unfortunately, it worked and we missed our next serve. They went on to beat us 23-25.

“I was very proud of the girls. They work very hard and are a coachable group. We are steadily improving and looking forward to play-offs.”

In the tournament, Carihi placed fourth in their pool, losing to Lambrick Park -25; -25, Belmont  25-18; 17-25; 12-15, and Ballenas 10-25;11-25. In the play-off round, Carihi played Highland, losing in straight sets 14-25; 22-25. Then faced Belmont again, and lost 25-17; 16-25; 9-15. In their final match of the tournament, Carihi defeated Claremont 28-26; 25-23 finishing in seventh place.