A packed house gathered at feature court Sunday afternoon as Thunder Volleyball Club defeated Academy Volleyball in thrilling three set match, 25-20, 19-25, 15-13.
The match could have went either way with both teams carrying the pace and dominating a set each. In the third and final set, Thunder had things go their way.
“We had them early in the first set and I knew they are a really good team and they’d be better in the second and they did,” said Thunder coach, Craig Moore. “The third set was game, and when you’re tied 13-13 it comes down to who can get a bounce at the end and we seemed to get it this time.”
Heading into the match Thunder’s game plan was execute on their side of the net and do their best to limit two of Academy’s top players, Cecilee Max Brown and Tiffany Westerberg. Moore also shared some words of encouragement with the girls before the game.
“I just told them they’re going to remember this forever, so make sure you put out your best effort, because it makes it really easy to look back and say you had a good time.”
After the match, Thunder star setter and Provincial Championship MVP, Kayla Oxland highlighted how her team’s commitment to matching Academy’s intensity on the defensive side of the ball was key in the victory.
“We’re not usually the most defensive team and Academy’s defence is great.” Oxland said. “We realized we had to add that to our game today to beat them and I would say our defensive pursuit was amazing … today.”
But even in the midst of all the pressure and intensity of such a big game, Volleyball BC All-Star Award winner from the Club season, Cara Kovacs, says her and her teammates felt as in control of the moment as you could be, given the circumstances.
“It’s nice to know that your teammates have your back,” Kovacs said. “If we feel like we’re maybe a little too wound up, Kayla or one of the other captains will say take a deep breath and we’ll all do a unified breath together.”
Kovacs also added, the win feels ‘really good’ as she grinned ear-to-ear while jumping up and down to celebrate post game.
Up next for Thunder, Nationals in Edmonton where Moore looks forward to potentially being a top seed and seeing how his squad matches up with teams from the rest of the country.
18U Girls Medalist
1- Thunder (Blue)
2- Academy (Blue)
3- FVVC Blitz
1- Infinity (Patti)
3- Seaside Surf
1- Victoria (Red)
2- Air Attack (Gold)
3- Comox Valley Volleyball Club
For details on tournament results and scores, visit here.
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