Belmont seniors advance to volleyball provincials

Girls crash way to Island final, boys back into B.C.'s berth

The hallways of Belmont secondary will be slightly less crowded next week, with members of the senior boys and girls volleyball teams competing at their respective B.C. high school championships.

The Bulldogs girls punched their ticket to Cranbrook for the AAAA tournament by reaching the final of the Island tournament Saturday at Oak Bay against the host Breakers. The best-of-five match, won 3-1 by Oak Bay, was the latest in the teams’ continuing rivalry, and came after Belmont won their head-to-head preliminary round match two straight games.

The Bulldogs rolled through their pool with three straight match wins then downed an improved Stelly’s team 3-1 in the best-of-five semifinals. The Breakers had more left in the tank by the end of Saturday’s play, Belmont head coach Mike Toakley said.

“It was a case of Oak Bay taking their game to a higher level against an exhausted group,” he said, noting his team has been short players due to various injuries.

One bonus was having Allegra Pala, who has been suffering from back pain, play the entire tournament in the front row for the Bulldogs. Her presence gave Toakley more flexibility in making up the lineup, he said, and allowed him to move right side Nicole Bracewell back to the libero position on defence.

Belmont also downed Spectrum and Cowichan in pool play to set up the semifinal match against the Stingers, who placed second in the opposite pool behind Oak Bay. The Breakers went on to beat Claremont 3-0 in the other semifinal.

The yeoman’s work of four Belmont players drew the attention of the people picking tournament all-stars. Setter Danielle Potier and power hitter Cassy Allen were named to the first team, while Bracewell and power hitter Jessica Thomsen made the second team.

Toakley said reaching the provincials was a major objective for his squad, which was bumped off the B.C. rankings list last week by Oak Bay. The Breakers took over at No. 10 and was expected to stay there this week.

“The goal was just to get there and to have that done, it’s all gravy from here,” the coach said of the B.C championship tournament. “It’s a neat opportunity that I’m glad they’re going to have a chance to experience.”

With the extra week of rest leading up to the provincials, the Bulldogs will be up to nine players in Cranbrook, which leaves Toakley more enthusiastic about his team’s chances to do well. Power hitter Kendra Hobenshield has been greenlighted for the provincials after rehabbing from a knee injury.

The provincial championships run Nov. 27 to 29 at Mount Baker secondary.

Belmont boys win key matches in Nanaimo

Despite winding up the Island AAA boys tournament with losses in the semifinal and bronze-medal matches, earlier wins over two Greater Victoria rivals allowed the Bulldogs to qualify for the upcoming B.C. AAA high school boys championships in Langley.

The Bulldogs split their pool matches, losing to host Dover Bay and gaining a measure of revenge by beating Reynolds, who knocked the Bulldogs out of contention for the Judy Bourne Cup citywide final four two weeks ago.

That placed the Bulldogs into the quarter-finals against Claremont. Belmont won there to assure themselves one of the four Island berths into the provincials. The Bulldogs went on to lose the semifinal to Dover Bay and the third-fourth game to Vanier from Courtenay.

Middle blocker Jakob Purdy of Belmont was selected to the all-star team.

The AAA high school boys championships run Nov. 26 to 29 at the Langley Events Centre.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

420 celebrations turn over new leaf at B.C. legislature

Cannabis is legal for the first time in the 21-year existence of the 420 event in Victoria

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake returns to Langford

Annual fundraising event held from April 26 to 28

VIDEO: ‘Stewie the Starfish’ mascot revealed at Premier League kickoff party

Pacific FC kickoff party scores in Victoria Inner Harbour

Report calls on Saanich to expand multicultural programming at recreation facilities

Report also notes that Saanich could do more for sexual minorities.

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Most Read