Volleyball teams in title hunt

Nanaimo high schools have a lot of senior girls’ volleyball teams in the title hunt this weekend. Island championships are being decided today (Nov. 16) and tomorrow.

Dover Bay Secondary School’s senior AAAA girls are hosting Islands in their gym and are hoping to be in Saturday’s Island final, set for 3:30 p.m.

Dover placed second at the North Island tournament last weekend, falling in three sets to G.P. Vanier. It was a good result for a relatively young Dolphins team, said coach Dave Nelson.

"We're not as skilled as some Dover teams in the past, but the girls really get along and have good chemistry. And we have good leadership from our Grade 12s, so that helps," he said. “We have a little bit of experience, we have a little bit of leadership, we have some good chemistry and that gets us through some matches."

Dover has matches Friday at 2:10 p.m., 3:20 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The Nanaimo District Islanders senior AAA girls won the North Island championship last weekend at Campbell River, beating Ballenas 21-25, 25-18, 15-10.

"The kids have got some game, but they work really hard in practice; they take constructive criticism very well," said Gary Maitland, NDSS coach.

ND is the province's No. 2-ranked AAA senior girls' team and will be the favourites going into this weekend's Island championships at Parkland high school in Victoria. There will be some tough competition there, but Maitland said he doesn't worry too much about what the other teams will bring.

"It's more about what we do," he said. "If we can control what we do and play our game and cut down our unforced errors then we'll be very successful."

The Wellington Wildcats are also participating in the AAA Island championships.

The Cedar Spartans, meanwhile, are expected to be strong contenders at the AA Island championships today and tomorrow at Victoria's St. Mike's University School after winning North Islands last week. Cedar bested Brentwood in three games last Saturday at Mill Bay.

"They're a resilient group, that's for sure," said Bill Rounis, coach of the Spartans. "We went to three sets a number of times and won in the third set."

Cedar is the No. 2 seed heading into this weekend’s Island championships. The Spartans do a lot of things well, said the coach.

"Our ball control is fantastic. We continue to pressure teams," he said. "And we've been able to show some size, too."

The Barsby Blazers senior AA girls are also competing at Islands. Cedar and Barsby are co-hosting provincials and they get one host berth between them, so if the Spartans or the Blazers reach Saturday's Island final, then they not only qualify themselves for provincials, but their neighbours, too.

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