The volleyball season ended abruptly for both the Chemainus Secondary School Cougars senior and junior girls volleyball teams.
The senior Cougars were at John Barsby School in Nanaimo for their first time in the AA North Island playoff tournament.
The first match against Brentwood College, a different Brentwood team than the one Chemainus played earlier in the season, finished in a 7-25, 1-25 setback.
This was also the first tournament of the season for the team since one scheduled last month at Cowichan Secondary School was cancelled.
“I think the team was a bit overwhelmed by the noise and layout of the games,” coach Cindy Bowden pointed out. “It is very different to play with another game going on less than 10 feet away. You need to stay focused and listen well to make sure you are responding to the correct whistle.”
Chemainus played Nanaimo Christian School, another AA tournament newcomer, in its second match and lost 2-25, 12-25.
“This was a tough team and the girls played hard,” Bowden noted.
The Cougars then faced Shawnigan Lake School in their third match and were defeated 13-25 and 16-25.
“We played so much better against this team this round than we did at the beginning of the year,” Bowden indicated. “It was a late night game starting at 7:15 after we had already played two matches. The girls came out and played with a lot of heart.”
With losses in all three matches, the girls did not advance to the next day of the tournament. It was the last game of high school volleyball for the Grade 12 girls and a few tears were shed.
“One of our goals for the season was to play as a team,” summarized Bowden. “You win together, you lose together. Each person has something to contribute. In practice if a ball drops and no one goes for it, everyone runs a set a lines, not just the person closest to the ball. When there is a great rally, it’s a whole team celebration, not just a victory for the person with the final block or kill.
”In this tournament we played as a team. I am proud of these girls and thankful to have been their coach.”
She also expressed a special thanks to everyone who supported the team this season.
The Chemainus juniors played their year-end tournament at Brentwood College and placed 10th overall.
”Unfortunately, this was not where we thought we’d end up,” conceded coach Kelsey Bell. “It was a close first game that we should have won but lack of communication, positioning and inconsistent serving led us to a loss.”
After that first loss against host Brentwood, the Cougars split against Quamichan but ended up losing in the third set. The third game of pool play was a win against Lake Cowichan B and the tournament concluded with a loss against the Lake Cowichan A team.
”It was hard to end the season on a low note, however the girls have grown immensely over the season,” remarked Bell. “Many girls had not played in a tournament before or even any organized sport. I am looking forward to next year and building upon the skills gained this season. We have a lot of potential and I am excited to see where it takes us next year.”