Having already achieved their season goals of winning the Island title and qualifying for single-A provincials, Duncan Christian School’s senior girls volleyball team came up just short of a top-10 finish at the B.C. tournament in Castlegar last weekend.
“The girls did represent DCS very well over the whole season,” commented head coach Jim Brandsma, who was assisted by Katrina Nielsen. “We had some ups and downs, winning and losing as a team, which is something I hope they take with them into life.”
The Chargers lost all three of their matches in pool play last Thursday, but were close in all of them, especially in the first sets. DCS took fifth-ranked Immaculata to three sets in the opening match, ultimately losing 21-25, 25-23, 15-13. The Chargers then lost to Credo Christian 25-23, 25-21, and Vernon Christian 29-27, 25-13.
DCS started Friday with a tough playoff match against Delta’s Southpointe Academy, keeping it close in the first and third sets before falling 25-21, 25-13, 15-19. They ended the day with a decisive 25-18, 15-11 victory over Lakes District.
The final day of the tournament, Saturday kicked off with another close battle against Cedars Christian of Prince George that the Chargers lost 25-23, 26-24. That was followed by the 11th-place game against Kelowna’s Aberdeen Hall, which DCS lost 18-25, 25-15, 15-11.
There were a lot of things for the players to be proud of at the tournament, and over the course of the season, coach Brandsma said.
“Our Grade 10 girls — Julianna Kapteyn, Candice Bennett and Anna Kempe — made remarkable improvements through the year and made some key plays over the course of the tournament,” he noted. “We certainly could not have been as good as we were all the way around without them. Julianna did very well this year as our main setter taking over from her cousin Jaymie Brandsma.
“Jaymie had a great defensive tournament, her serving was very good, and she made a lot of key offensive plays as well. Chloe Bruce has a great tournament, leaving it all out on the court, and made a couple of amazing defensive plays to help keep us close. Sierra Screaton helped where she could and could always be counted on to help the team in whatever capacity was needed.
“Our Grade 12s — Kearra McCormick, Kristine Williams, and Morgan Nederlof — will certainly be missed next year. Coaching them for the last three years has been a lot of fun. Kearra has been a reputable offensive force giving us some awesome hitting power and all around play. Kristine has been the queen of offensive tipping and has on numerous occasions put on a clinic on how to tip the ball properly. Morgan could always be counted on to be the hype person and keep up the talk on and off the court. She has on several occasions come up with some amazing offence and defence.”