Hannah May, left, Savannah Purdy and Erin Mutch with the Victoria Volleyball Association Team Black were named to a 12-player provincial all star team after the 17-under women’s B.C. club season. Photo by Dean Purdy

West Shore-flavoured side captures B.C. club volleyball silver

Belmont players dominate Victoria Volleyball Association 17U women’s roster

Hampered by injuries and short of substitutions, the Victoria Volleyball Association 17-under women’s team still turned heads at the provincial club championships in Richmond.

The squad, stocked largely with West Shore players, knocked off teams from volleyball academies that specifically groom players for the collegiate ranks, before running out of steam in Saturday’s final. Victoria Black lost 2-0 (25-27, 16-25) to Vancouver’s Team Academy, the No. 1-ranked side who had lost by the same score to VVA the day before in a preliminary round match.

Despite “limping” into the tournament, in coach Mike Toakley’s words, No. 2-ranked VVA Black mustered heart and grit to post a 3-0 record in a power pool on day 1 against the other three of B.C.’s top four rated teams. After defeating the Fraser Valley Blitz 2-1, Victoria swept both Academy and the Thunder club from Vancouver.

They swept Vancouver’s Seaside Surf 2-0 (25-10, 25-19) in Saturday’s quarter-finals and later edged the arch-rival Thunder 2-0 (25-23, 26-24) in the semis. Having to wait around for other matches to finish before playing the final, fatigue started to set in, Toakley said.

“It was a long day and the girls were exhausted,” he said. “The lack of depth was telling and our momentum ebbed away. It was hard for them to get the energy level back that was necessary to play a team of that caliber.”

Toakley gave Academy kudos, calling them an “incredibly good team” that always brings its A game to the big matches.

Despite their club not being set up like the academies whose elite teams it was playing, VVA Black wasn’t short on premium talent. Many members of this year’s 4A high school girls B.C. champion Belmont Bulldogs were in the lineup, including provincials MVP and much sought-after future collegiate player Savannah Purdy, fellow front-court stalwarts Hannah and Gracie May and durable setter Taylee Pomponio.

Three members of the team would actually qualify to play in the 16U division, Toakley noted. Other players included Miranda Cyr and Olivia Godek from Belmont – Sydney Belton was out due to knee surgery – plus Oak Bay’s Erin Mutch, Reynolds student Abby Willett and Ashley Marshall from Nanaimo.

A handful of VVA and Belmont players are being courted by university and college programs, Toakley said, with more likely to be identified next season when they’re in Grade 12. At the 17U team’s season-opening tournament in January, a 130-team pre-collegiate tournament in Oregon in January where VVA finished in the top 25, a number of college scouts inquired into the availability of West Shore players, he said.

As for the B.C. club season, Purdy, Hannah May and Mutch were named to a 12-person all-star team. Purdy and Mutch will play for Team B.C. this summer at the National Team Challenge Cup, but ahead of that the VVA Black will contest the national club championships May 5 to 7 in Edmonton.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Volleyball

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich police search for suspect accused of using stolen credit, debit cards

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers says suspect made numerous fraudulent purchases

Homeless woman sentenced to 18 months in jail for selling drugs to Victoria police officer

Officer paid $20 for a substance consisting of heroin, fentanyl and caffeine

Family restaurant to hold Saturday fundraiser for Beirut blast

Wrap and Roll will donate all sales to victims of blast

Police looking for witnesses of alleged assault in Burnside Gorge’s Cecila Ravine

Concerned woman pushed to the ground, had phone broken while taking a photo of a dog

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 4

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

POLL: Should it be mandatory to wear masks when out in public?

B.C. is witnessing an alarming rise in the number of cases of… Continue reading

RCMP looking for missing teen in Comox Valley

Jenessa Shacter was last seen going for a walk in downtown Courtenay

Most Read