The Elphinstone Senior Girls Volleyball team came close to becoming North Shore league champions last Wednesday, losing to B.C. powerhouse Handsworth Secondary School, but the Cougars move ahead to regional competition – with hopes high to qualify for provincials.
“The amount of hours these girls are putting in is paying off on the court,” coach John Brisebois told Coast Reporter.
Elphinstone lost the game 3-1, with all sets close, but their second place finish at the North Shore Secondary Schools’ Athletic Association finals speaks to the AA team’s ability to punch above its weight. Handsworth is approximately three times the size of Elphinstone Secondary and is classified as a AAAA team.
“A couple of tournaments ago, we beat Claremont, which was ranked fourth in quad-A in the province and we’re a double-A school,” Brisebois said.
If Elphinstone places among the top teams at Zone competition, which includes teams from North Vancouver and Burnaby, they will qualify for provincials at the end of the month.
The senior Cougars qualified last year and were one place shy of finishing among the top 10 of the 20 teams that competed in provincials.
Many of those players have since graduated, but the talent of up-and-coming players has put them in good stead, Brisebois said. “Right now we have five Grade 10s playing on the senior team and we’re in a really good position to better that placing if we can get through Zones,” he said. “We’re trending in the right direction as far as our intensity, the level of play and the care of the ball.”
Chatelech’s senior girls team also proceeded to Zones, led by coach Darren Causon, after competing in the North Shore league’s premier division for the first time in several years. “The quality of matches in premier certainly asked the team to raise their level of play. Although finishing out of the league playoffs, each league match was hard fought,” Causon said.
The team also participated in three tournaments, finishing seventh at a Capilano tournament and sixth at a tournament hosted by Handsworth and competing against AAAA teams Claremont Secondary and Lord Byng Secondary schools.
In order for Chatelech to advance to provincials, they will have to place in the top four Zone playoff tournament, scheduled for Nov. 13 and 14. The provincial championships take place Nov. 28 to 30 in Vernon.