Mission 1 has been accomplished for the Victoria Volleyball Association Chargers in 14-under girls tournament play.
Having won the Island championship in convincing style, the Chargers, largely made up of players from the city Grade 8 champion Spencer middle school team, are preparing to tackle the provincial field next weekend in Abbotsford.
“We’ve been building this team since Grade 6,” said Brenda Cyr, assistant to head coach Mike Toakley, who will coach many of these players at Belmont secondary this fall.
“For the last two years we’ve been playing them above their age category, so they’ve had the advantage of playing at higher (competitive) levels,” she added. “This year we said we’ve got to get them in their own age category.”
Aware of the talent level on this young team, Cyr and Toakley’s goal is to secure a top-three finish in the B.C. championships and a top 10 at nationals, to be played May 9 and 10 also in Abbotsford.
The Chargers, seeded first overall, went 3-0 in round robin play at the Islands, played last weekend at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo. They dispatched the Campbell River Crush in straight sets in the semifinals, but the final against Comox Valley Strikers proved tougher.
After winning the first set 25-21, the Chargers fell behind in the second, but came back to tie the game at 23. The Strikers regained the lead in a rally then served for the final point in a 25-23 win.
Taylee Pomponio, at 12 one of the youngest Chargers, propelled her team into a comfortable lead in the deciding set, serving for the first nine points – including seven aces – en route to a 15-7 victory.
Chargers co-captains Savannah Purdy and Hannah May led the attack through the tournament, each registering a significant number of kills. Purdy also recorded 18 straight aces in an early round robin game.
Cerys Tutt and Miranda Cyr played solid defence in the backcourt, each making impressive digs at various times to save rallies and gain points.
Sisters Hannah and Grace May, both standing 5-foot-11, were forces to be reckoned with at the net. They repeatedly roofed opponents and prevented opponents from penetrating the block and winning the point.