There’s an old saying in sports, it’s not how you start the game, but rather how you finish it, and for Rain City Volleyball Club’s 16U girls team, that saying couldn’t be more true.
The team came out of the gates a little shaky to start the game, dropping the first set to the hometown, Elevate Volleyball Club from Abbotsford, at Tradex on Sunday afternoon.
But after the first set, the girls pulled it together and lived up to their team motto of, practicing like they’d never won and playing like they’d never lost – which was printed on the backs of their warm-up T-shirts.
“After we lost the first set, coach Brian (Boles) told them, we’re playing a little bit scrambly, and we’re still in this match,” said head coach, Sara Corneil. “Imagine what will happen when we start to calm down and play our game.”
What happened after that speech was complete domination in the second set, with Rain City squeaking out a close third set, to capture a Provincial Championship, 21-25, 25-12, 16-14.
“As a group, all our players stood out today,” Corneil said. “Ellie in the middle did a great job holding middle blockers, which made Lauren’s job on the outside easy. Our setter, Bailey did a fantastic job of distributing the ball. And our back row passers, Katie, Anikka and Sophie, they made it possible to run an offence because we weren’t setting trouble balls all the time.
Corneil was also quick to acknowledge how well Elevate played in the loss, pointing out the two teams have been battling since a lot of the girls on her team were playing 13U.
“They’re (Elevate) a phenomenal team, it’s always fun to play them and they’re always close matches.”
Volleyball BC All Star Award winner from the season, Ellie Sinclair, echoed the coach’s thoughts, saying that Elevate showed a lot of effort on every ball and played a strong game. She also shed a bit of light on an adjustment her and her teammates made after the first set.
“Our strategy in the second and third sets was to try and move away from their big blocks because I was getting blocked on my fifty-ones (one foot set, right side of middle) a lot, and it was easier for me to tip on thirty-twos and thirty-fours (two and four foot set, left of middle).”
Tournament MVP, Lauren Attieh, was ecstatic with the win, but also quick to complement her teammates.
“We just trusted one and other and did our jobs in the second and third sets,” Attieh said. “I wouldn’t have this Gold Medal and be MVP without the hard work of my teammates.”
16U Girls Volleyball Medalists
1- Rain City Rush
2- Elevate PEAK
3- Force (Black)
1- Thunder (White)
2- Team Academy (Gold)
3- Ducks (Makato)
1- Air Attack (Black)
3- Victoria (Red)
1- Mariners (Hannah)
2- Focus Xpress
3- PVC Thunder
Rest of the tournament results can be found here.
Video of the game and other Provincials news/videos can be found on our Facebook page.
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