West Shore volleyball players are celebrating a big win for a young team.
The Victoria Volleyball Association Chargers West Under-14 girls team came away with the bronze win at the indoor Western Canadian Open Nationals last weekend, losing only one game in the semi-finals, to the team that would go on to win it all.
All of the players on the team live in the West Shore, mainly in Langford, as the team stems primarily from the Spencer middle school program and the hard work of coach Brenda Cyr.
Cyr and co-coach Mike Toakley started the team three years ago. The first season didn’t go so well, the second a lot better and the third turned out to be outstanding.
“They turned out to be one very dedicated and serious group,” Toakley said. “It seems like every week they will do things they couldn’t do the week before.”
The road to the nationals was paved with wins at the city, Island and provincial levels, the latter hosted in Abbotsford in late April. The team went 8-1 at nationals and lost the semi-final by only two points. They also fought back from a 10 point and a seven point deficit in the bronze medal match to take home the hardware.
“They work really hard and they are a team, in the true essence of the word,” Toakley said. “We needed all of them to play their best for us to be competitive.”
Co-captains Hannah May, 14, and Savannah Purdy, 13, said the team works so well together because they are all such good friends.
“We all get along really well, so we talk a lot, we’re good at that,” May said.
The goal now is to come back next year and take the nationals, as well as do well in beach volleyball this summer.
“We need to keep working on our skills like we’ve always been doing,” May said. “Get stronger as players, work really hard in our practices.”