Thunder Builds On Silver Medals From Years Past to Capture Gold in 17U Girls Age Group

The action went late into Saturday night at the Richmond Oval, but the fans of the Thunder Volleyball Club’s 17U girls team certainly didn’t mind staying awake to watch the team capture the 2018 17U Girls Tier 1 Provincial Championship.

Thunder (Black) defeated their rivals Force Volleyball Club in straight sets, 25-15, 25-21.

The victory was extra sweet for Thunder as the majority of their roster had come up short the past three seasons at the Provincial Championships, losing to Force teams in the finals in 2015 and 2017 and in the semi-finals in 2016.

“For the team this win means a lot,” said Thunder coach, Jeff Ross. “I believe the past three years they have lost in the Provincial Championships to Force, so to the team, tonight’s win meant a lot.”

Before the game, Ross talked to his team about staying with the game plan, caring for each other and making things difficult for Force’s two stellar middles.

“I thought the girls executed the game plan really well and we stayed aggressive the whole game.”

Left side and Provincial Championship MVP, Katarina Pantovic was a part of the Thunder teams that had fallen short the past three years.

“They’re (Force) is a really good team at keeping rallies going and they get a lot of momentum from that, but tonight, we manage to hit really tough and hard which made it tough on them,” Pantovic said.

Left side, Jadyn Van Santen said that finally winning a Gold Medal after falling short in the past feels amazing. But she was also quick to complement Force on their great play in the championship game.

“They played really well today and gave us a real tough fight,” Van Santen said. “They’re a really strong defensive team and our strategy coming in was to pick on that, but overall, Force played really well today.”

Up next for both Thunder and Force, the National Championships in Edmonton where Jeff Ross expects another possible rematch.

17U Girls Medal Winners

Tier 1

1- Thunder (Black)

2- Force

3- Victoria (Black)

Tier 2

1- Sky (Blue )

2- Mariners (Keri)

3- T2VB Crew 1

Tier 3

1- Mariners (Roger)

2- Crush

3- Powell River Aces

For details on tournament results and scores, visit here.

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