Savannah Purdy

Langford girls collect beach volleyball medals

Six local players heading to Western Nationals this month in Parksville

The winds of fate can be cruel in the sport of beach volleyball. At the very least they can be unpredictable.

The team of Savannah Purdy and Charlie Holborn found that out late in the deciding set of the Volleyball B.C. 15-under girls provincial championship final Sunday on the sands of Spanish Banks in Vancouver.

Tied at a game apiece and trailing 14-13, Purdy and Holborn judged an opposing return to be out, only to see the wind bring the ball back in where it landed on the line for the winning point.

For the girls’ coach Mike Toakley, who could only stand by and watch, it was just one of those things.

“That’s beach volleyball; that’s the difference between an indoor and an outdoor game, it’ll work for you as much as it will work against you,” he said.

The Langford girls and former Spencer middle school teammates – Holborn lives in Ottawa having moved with her family a couple of years ago –  came in ranked No. 1 based on points accrued through tournament play this season. Both Purdy and Holborn, on opposite sides of the country, competed and did well playing in older age groups on occasion.

They breezed through the round robin, winning three matches in the minimum two sets to win their pool, then posted wins in the quarters and semifinals.

Another Langford pair, Gracie May and Taylee Pomponio, didn’t come quite as close to gold, but did come away with a silver medal in the 14U draw.

Also seeded first, they went 2-1 to win their pool, then won an inspired match in three sets against a team that came in ultra-confident, Toakley said. While they rolled through the semifinal in straight sets, May and Pomponio lost two straight in the gold medal showdown.

“They did not have the best match in the final,” Toakley said. “For whatever reason they came out really flat, even though they had played some phenomenal volleyball earlier in the day.”

He figured the quarter-final took a lot out of them, not to mention the heat of the weekend and the sheer physicality of the beach game. “I told them after the final that they can play at this level, even if you didn’t do it just now.”

A third pair of Greater Victoria players, May’s older sister Hannah and Oak Bay resident Erin Mutch, lost in the quarter-finals and wound up seventh in the 15U division, after going 3-0 in pool play.

The six girls, with so-called Langford super-sub Olivia Godek replacing Holborn playing with Purdy, are gearing up for the Western National Championships in Parksville, Aug. 14 to 16. Godek teamed with another member of the Langford clan, Miranda Cyr, to win the Island 15U crown last month over Hannah May and Mutch, while Purdy and Holborn won bronze at 16U.

The western national tournament only features even age categories, so the 15U players will move up to compete in the 16U division. As a return gesture to Holborn spending a month out here, Purdy plans to travel to Toronto later this month for the Eastern Nationals, where the two will team up to play the 15U draw.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Friday night fire outside Saanich Staples

Witness says two employees helped put out blaze

Victoria non-profit empowers women escaping abusive homes with a fresh start

Organization’s gift certificate program helped around 400 women last year

VIDEO: Royal Bay Secondary students take flight in ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’

Play tells the story of the orphan who becomes Peter Pan

Sidney designer showing killer collection at Van Fashion Week

A young Sidney designer is showing her 14 piece collection Obsidian Nights at Vancouver Fashion Week

Support group helps Victoria parents navigate issues with children

Parents and caregivers offered “free, safe, non-judgmental, confidential” support

VIDEO: Iconic ‘snow cone’ takes shape at B.C. park near Clearwater

Snow cone forming at Wells Gray Provincial Park one that would make Disney’s Queen Elsa proud

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

A ‘warm embrace’ for grieving parents at funeral of seven young fire victims

Mourners offered love and support to Kawthar Barho, mother of seven children

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

Most Read