Heading into this weekend South Island junior girls volleyball playoffs, the Belmont Blue side continues to be the team to beat.
Belmont hosts pool play tomorrow (Nov. 13) for the 12-team South Island ‘A’ playoffs and start with a 2 p.m. match against Stelly’s A. Mount Douglas is also in Belmont’s pool and takes on Blue at 5:15 p.m. on Court 1.
On Saturday the action shifts to Oak Bay High for the championship round, starting at 10 a.m. and wrapping up with the final at 2:40 p.m. The top two finishers advance to the Island championships, set for Nov. 20 and 21 at Brentwood College in Mill Bay.
Fresh from winning the city league title, Belmont Blue passed a test of their skills against mainland competition with flying colours last weekend, winning the 20-team South Delta tournament. It was a good opportunity to see who his team might face at the provincial level, said Belmont coach Ken Lowe.
“These girls they need to know there are other teams out there that are capable of beating them,” he said. “There are a lot of good teams out there … and there’s a lot of good cub volleyball in the Fraser Valley.”
Belmont Blue downed Langley Christian 25-10, 25-17 in last Saturday’s final, a match in which the winners did a number of the right things, Lowe said.
“We served very well in our first set and put a lot of pressure on them,” he said. “The second set was a lot more even, rallying-wise.”
Strong serving allowed Belmont to keep Delta’s Seaquam off balance in the semifinals, Lowe said. Blue won in straight sets, largely by making the back court players work hard, he added.
Belmont won three matches in pool play to qualify for the quarter-finals. Facing McGee from Vancouver, Blue fell behind 5-0 to start the match. They regrouped, went on a roll and wound up winning that set 25-12 and the next one by an equal margin.
Belmont White, a junior team mostly comprised of Grade 9 players without a lot of club volleyball experience, were in tough all weekend but got better as the tournament went on, Lowe said. “I’m excited to continue working with them in the coming years.”
Belmont White opens the 11-team B playoff draw next Monday at St. Margaret’s school. The top eight teams continue on to the championship round the following day at Vic High.