All’s well that ends well.
It was a rough start for the Chemainus Cougars senior boys in the Island A volleyball championships at Duncan Christian School, but they came on strong as it went along.
“We ended the season with a win,” said coach Sean Lefebure. “That’s what I’m going to tell people when they ask how the season went.”
Chemainus defeated Victor Brodeur of Victoria 26-24, 25-18 to snatch fourth place in the gruelling five-team, one-day round robin.
Part of the reason for the slow start was Chemainus drew the toughest two teams for its first two games. The Cougars lost 8-25, 14-25 to eventual champion Duncan Christian School and then did not have Matt Simpson available the rest of the way due to baseball commitments and immediately dropped a 3-25, 10-25 decision to Ucluelet.
Lefebure knew the Cougars would be in tough against DCS, “obviously a really good team,” he said. “It was getting our feet under ourselves and getting some quality plays in there.”
In some ways, runner-up Ucluelet provided an even more difficult challenge in the second game.
“Ucluelet’s a very strong all-around team,” Lefebure pointed out. “They really took it to us.
“Once we got past those two teams, we played a couple of teams that were more our calibre.”
Chemainus was beaten 18-25, 19-25 by Brookes of Shawnigan Lake, a team it had already defeated this season, before finishing with the victory over Brodeur.
Playing without Simpson for much of the tournament and then Dominic Hill’s departure after a broken finger added to the difficulty of the situation for the remaining players.
“Losing two setters is less than ideal to say the least,” Lefebure noted.
“We stepped up. We had quite a number of setters. I was actually quite impressed how they did.”
Three Grade 8 players were brought along with the team to hopefully build a foundation for boys’ volleyball at the school in the future.
“They seemed to enjoy it and they’ve got some potential,” said Lefebure, who would like to return as coach if his personal situation makes it feasible.
Patrick Wong was named the Chemainus all-star player for the tournament.