“We tried to come together to focus and go back to what we’ve learned this season: we’re in this together.”
This was the mindset for Wet Kelonwa’s Mount Boucherie Secondary Grade 9 girls’ volleyball team, which placed third in this year’s provincials. The Bears only lost one game, to the team that would end up placing first, Riverside Secondary.
“We worked really hard, and we put in a lot of time during training, but we were still nervous,” said Bears’ Kirsten Hill about the semi-final match. “But everyone was on their game, consistent, and working to get every dig or hit.”
In the match against Riverside, the Bears came across the same problem they had seen in other matches.
“They were smaller teams, and they were really good defensively,” said Kenedi Woodcox, the Bears’ setter. “It was super different for us to play against teams with that good of a defence. After the first six games of the tournament, we knew that we were going to have to beat the Riverside Rapids’ defence to advance.”
Unfortunately, the Bears were unable to advance to the gold medal match. But coach Jeff Cundy said he was happy with his teams’ bronze medal.
‘We have a super talented bunch here, and we peaked at the best time during the tournament,” said Cundy. “We were dominant in most of the games and it was great to get all of our players involved throughout the tournament. Kirsten was great on the net, and our setters Kenedi and Maya were the glue that held the team together, but all of our players stepped up to help us succeed. We did get frustrated with the high level of defence we faced, but we stuck with our game-plans to get through it. We want to keep this team of girls together going forward and see if we can get gold next year.”
The tournament’s tough schedule meant keeping the energy up for the Bears was at times hard to do.
“It was hard to keep the energy consistent,” said Maya Moodie. “We tried to pump ourselves up, but having our coaches and parents there to do it for us helped us a lot during the tournament.”
Most of the Bears’ squad play in a West Kelowna volleyball league with one another, and they want to keep their relationships strong.
“Some of us have been playing together for years, and we like that,” said Kirsten.
“We’re going to keep playing until grade 12 and look forward to where volleyball takes us after high school,” said Maya.
“We’re all best friends,” said Kenedi.
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