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Chemainus Cougars volleyball team enlists several newcomers to complement veterans

Results haven’t been there yet, but girls starting to gather steam

The Chemainus Secondary School senior girls volleyball team members who’ve been together so long want to go out in a blaze of glory this season.

The core of the Cougars team now in Grade 12 has been through a lot together, going back to Grade 10 and even Grade 9 as a group.

“A lot of them are graduating and it’s a great group of girls,” said coach Kelsey Bell, with new vice principal Jennie Hittinger still around to offer her expertise to the team.

“It’s been going well. We’re learning lots and they all get along really well.”

The girls barely got settled back into school in September before game action started.

“We’ve got a couple of new girls who haven’t played on the team before,” noted Bell. “We’ve been trying to play everyone.”

The opening match of the season against Cowichan Secondary in Duncan went to a third set, with the Cougars falling just short. That led straight into the first tournament of the season at Gulf Islands Secondary on Salt Spring Island which was a great bonding experience for the group.

“The new girls, I think learned a lot,” Bell indicated. “It was nice to see the veterans teach the new girls.”

Chemainus played against Nanaimo Christian School, Lake Cowichan, Cowichan Secondary and Gulf Islands at the tournament. The results aren’t quite there yet and Chemainus lost all the matches in two straight except Lake Cowichan that was decided in three.

But with the likes of power hitter Jaymi Wallace, all-around powerful player Natalie Craig and versatile Julia Peterson, you just know the team is going to be in great shape down the road.

The first home game of the season against Brookes of Shawnigan Lake followed the Gulf Islands tournament and Chemainus took it to the limit again before dropping the deciding contest.

A match at Shawnigan Lake then resulted in a defeat in two sets.

Hosting Queen Margaret’s School last Tuesday, the Courier arrived just in time to witness the girls’ first victory of the season by a convincing 25-6, 25-19 margin. Most of the new players were on the court for the second set and more than held their own.

The busy schedule continued with another home date against Duncan Christian School Wednesday (after presstime).

The tournament trail is going to get a lot busier in the days ahead, with the Cougars playing at Duncan Christian School Oct. 27-28, Cowichan Secondary School Nov. 3-4 and then hosting the Island A tournament Nov. 17-18 when they’re sure to be at their peak.


Don Bodger

About the Author: Don Bodger

I've been a part of the newspaper industry since 1980 when I began on a part-time basis covering sports for the Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle.
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