Finishing 13th out of 16 teams at the Duncan Christian School/Cowichan Secondary senior girls volleyball tournament isn’t quite what the Chemainus Secondary Cougars had in mind.
“We had expected we would have done better,” conceded Chemainus coach Kelsey Bell. “I was still proud of the girls for the fight they put up.”
She pegged stamina as a contributing factor to some of the results. Chemainus had a fairly sizeable lead in a few games it eventually lost.
“Our girls are trying to learn how to finish games and not let up,” noted Bell.
The Cougars, a single A team, were also in a very tough preliminary four-team pool Friday at Duncan Christian School.
“We had two quad schools, Alberni and Kelsey,” Bell pointed out.
Alberni eventually won the championship over Nanaimo Christian School 25-23, 25-16 and Kelsey captured third place.
“Right there, top three, two of those teams were in our pool,” Bell indicated. “It was tough right from the get-go.”
Chemainus played against Kelsey first and dropped a 20-25, 16-25 decision. The outcome of the first game was hard to take since the Cougars led by as much as five at one point.
Facing high-powered Alberni next, Chemainus did its best but was overmatched in an 11-25, 8-25 result.
Pool play closed out against Gulf Islands and it went the full three sets. Chemainus got the jump, winning the opener 25-22, but then went down 18-25, 10-15.
It was a familiar story against Aspengrove Ravens to open the consolation round Saturday at Cowichan Secondary School.
“We came out strong and started to let up,” noted Bell.
Chemainus was ahead in both games, but dropped the contest 22-25, 21-25.
That left Chemainus to play for 13th through 16th place and the team finally got rewarded for its perseverance with a pair of wins. The Cougars defeated Cowichan 25-17, 27-25 and Queen Margaret’s School 27-25, 25-9.
Jaymi Wallace was named Chemainus’ all-star player for the tournament.
“She’s an offensive player for us and continued to be positive and keep the team going on as well,” praised Bell.
The girls only have two more weeks of action remaining before hosting the Island A tournament at Chemainus Secondary when they want to be playing at peak efficiency for the hometown crowd.
They went up against the arch-rival Lake Cowichan Lakers on Wednesday afternoon (after presstime), one of the teams they’ll be chasing along with Nanaimo and Duncan Christian for top honours on the Island.