Merriment With Mike and Mariya

Tuesday, December 31, 2019 - By: Jensa NG, Mackenzie ‘23; Photo by Paul Fletcher

During our rollercoaster ride, the Junior A team had a phenomenal season. After losing our star middle Jocie L to the seniors, we overcome her absence and pushed on harder. In a difficult pool at ISAs, the juniors went 2-3 coming out of the tournament with a seventh-place finish out of 12 teams. “The team kept working hard and improving drastically throughout the season” observed Sasha BL, Co-Captain. Countless hours of learning rotations and practicing serve receive went into this young team’s success.

Not long after the ISAs, the team started preparing for Mid-Islands. This tournament is composed of local competitors. It was a chance for this group to display their strengths, and everybody earned good minutes as we won the tournament.

Following Mid-Islands, the team departed for Dover Bay where we would take part in the Islands. The ladies went into this tournament with high hopes and energy. After a tough loss to powerhouse Dover Bay, the girls bounced back to lose by only 4 to SMUS in the third set. Later that night, this enthusiastic group had a tough go vs. a hard-working and gritty Port Alberni. “This was not our strongest game, but the girls sure did put up a strong fight in the final set” said Mike Minkler, Junior A Coach.

Sadly, after losing their first playoff game, the team could no longer make it to provincials. Despite this let down, the whole team fought hard and finished the tournament with much grit and joy, and a win over Cowichan.

This group has bonded, grown and improved greatly over this short term of volleyball. Their coaches and captains could not have been more proud of the improvement made throughout the season. I know that on behalf of the entire team we would like to say a huge thank you to our two dedicated coaches, Mr Mike Minckler and Ms Mariya Young, who taught us to grow as volleyball players and as people.

Jensa NG, Mackenzie ‘23

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