Finishing Fourth at Provies

Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - By: Maxine P, Alex ‘23

To round out their season, the Senior A Volleyball team headed to Mennonite Educational Institute, or MEI, in Abbotsford for Provincials from December 9 to 11. The girls qualified for this tournament by gutting out several victories at Islands and finishing second to Saint Michaels University School. ​​We beat all odds to qualify for Provincials and continued to defy the odds throughout the tournament.

Provincials was set to take place from December 2-4, but was delayed due to the flooding in Abbotsford. After our matches on Thursday, we came second in our pool, losing to the host school MEI, but pulling out a close three-set victory against the third ranked team, York House. After losing to them earlier in the season, the girls could’ve been discouraged but instead were fired up, determined to prove to York that we were a very different team compared to the beginning of the season. This put Brentwood in a good place for Friday’s matches.

Friday, aka Sasha BL’s 18th birthday, started bright and early with a 9 AM crossover game against the third place team from another pool, Archbishop Carney. In this best of five match, we won the first two sets, and after Carney came back in the third, the team stayed strong and pulled out a 25-21 victory in the fourth. Most of our matches were full of ups and downs but as Bridget B, Allard ‘23, our cheering captain said, “The team worked extremely hard in each game and didn’t get discouraged when the other team went on runs.” This crucial win put us in the quarter-finals against Langley Fundamental, the fourth ranked team in the province.

It took us a while to find our footing, but despite losing the first two sets, the team refused to give up. Thanks to some excellent serving by two of our “littles” Ella W, Mack ‘25 and Stella P, Alex ‘25, we were off to an early lead in set three. With some amazing kills from our star outside hitter, Sophie H, Mack ‘23, and outstanding defence from our libero with a broken finger, Alana H, Hope ‘23, the team took set three and four. Our battle didn’t end there. With the match all tied up it came down to the fifth and final set. We knew every point put us one step closer to a top finish and everyone came together in this final set. Some strong serving from our Captain Jocie L, Mack ‘22, put us up 5-3. The girls kept the pressure on Langley and earned a very exciting 15-11 victory, qualifying for the semi-finals on Saturday. With high spirits, the team dressed up and had an end-of-season/Sasha’s birthday dinner that evening with a gift exchange and speeches.

Brentwood was the underdog in the semi-finals because the other three teams were the top three in the province. We had a tough match against the top team, Abbotsford Christain, but ultimately held our own, losing in three close sets. We were then scheduled to face off against York House again in the bronze medal match. After losing our front row weapon, Sophie H, to an injury in the semis, the team had a hard time finding their footing and lost to York in an emotional battle.

It was hard to be disappointed with the result, however, because we came into the tournament ranked 11th and, after six matches, finished fourth in BC. Over the course of the weekend, a common theme echoed by Coach Jill Fougner and Mr Patel, who came to watch, was to “Play not for yourself, but for the Grade 12s.” So to the Grade 12s, Anna D, Julian W, Sasha BL, and Jocie L, thank you for your leadership, your kindness, and your commitment to this team. We couldn’t have done it without you.

I would also like to extend a thank you to the Brentwood community for all of their support of this team. Our coaches and players received an outpouring of supporting messages from staff, volleyball alum, and students who were tuned in to the live stream. Thanks to Bernie for driving us everywhere with a smile on his face. Thank you to Mr Minckler and Laurel for traveling with us to help out the team. And last but not least, thank you to our coaches Jill Fougner and Spencer Manton for their spirit, enthusiasm, and effort this entire season. We are so grateful for all of you.

Maxine P, Alex ‘23

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