Football has ‘The Catch’.
Basketball has ‘The Shot’.
And now – at least for fans of the Seaside Surf – volleyball has ‘The Punch’.
With Seaside Surf leading Fraser Valley Volleyball Club (FVVC), 27-26 in the second set, Brodie Hofer of FVVC launched into the air to deliver a spike that would have most professional players cringing in their shoes. What would follow is a play that even Hollywood would have trouble dreaming up.
Seaside libero, Kris La Guardia went down and made an unreal play to prevent the ball from striking the ground. The ball then bounced off of Provincial Championship MVP, Michael Dowhaniuk’s leg and went back in La Guardia’s direction.
And as FVVC were celebrating on the other side of the net, La Guardia punched at the ball, directing it over top of the opposition and landing it just inside the back corner of the court, to win the second set, 28-26.
The amazing play forced a third set for the championship, which Seaside would take, 15-13 (18-25, 28-26, 15-13).
“We started out good in the second set and Fraser Valley came back to take the lead,” said Seaside coach, Dave Dooley. “We were able to hang around and steal it in the end with that phenomenal play that I’m going to have to watch again to see what exactly happened.”
Before the game, Dooley talked to his team about sticking to the plan they laid out at the beginning of the season – be good, be healthy, get a little lucky and team chemistry.
“We just have so much love in our huddle,” Dooley said. “It’s amazing, we’ve been together for three years with me and some of these guys have been together for six years and the chemistry, love and relationships is an X-factor when you get into a third set.”
In victory, Dooley singled out the play of setter Malachi McMullin for his strong play all season long at a new position.
“The big performance today for me was Malachi McMullin. A lot of people thought he wouldn’t play, so for him to battle through the injury, to try a totally new position is phenomenal. For him to pick it up as quickly as he did and have the trust from his teammates to be able to set multiple options is huge. I think he really ran a great offence today.”
McMullin has been a part of the core of this team for six years – winning Provincial Championships with most of them at the 14U and 16U age groups.
“The game started a little bit shaky, but we’ve been a team for the better part of six years and we have the love for each other and we pulled it out,” McMullin said. “I wouldn’t have wanted to do this with anybody else.”
Dowhaniuk called the win unreal and definitely the best of the three championships he’s been a part of with this group.
“Some of us have been together since 13U, so that connection we’ve built in that time and the love; the love got us through that match.”
17/18U Boys Medalist
1- Seaside Surf
3- Seaside Six Pack 17U
1- Air Attack (Gold)
2- PGYVC Kodiaks (Black)
3- Victoria (Red)
For details on tournament results and scores, visit here.
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