Sports

Volleyball team ready for final act

Nanaimo District Islanders players Victoria Behie, left, Paige Milner and their teammates are considered medal contenders at senior AAA girls’ volleyball provincial championships this week in Vancouver. NDSS goes into the tournament as the No. 2 seed. - GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin
Nanaimo District Islanders players Victoria Behie, left, Paige Milner and their teammates are considered medal contenders at senior AAA girls’ volleyball provincial championships this week in Vancouver. NDSS goes into the tournament as the No. 2 seed.
— image credit: GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

It’s been a special season for NDSS Islanders volleyball, and it’s shaping up to be an exciting finish.

Nanaimo District Secondary School’s senior AAA girls’ volleyball team begins play Thursday (Nov. 29) at provincial championships in Vancouver.

NDSS takes the court as Island champions, and as the province’s No. 2 seed, the girls are favoured to reach Saturday’s B.C. final.

“There’s a lot of good teams, so we’re going to have to bring our A game,” said Victoria Behie, team captain.

NDSS does a lot of things well. The Islanders see themselves as an attacking team, so players are continually looking for any opportunity to spike the ball for a kill.

The core of the team has played high school and club volleyball together for years, so they have good chemistry on the court.

“We have a very good connection; we’re kind of like a bunch of sisters,” said Paige Milner, NDSS veteran.

With experience, the Islanders have found an approach that works for them.

“We don’t really dip down so low,” Behie said. “We always stay at a consistent, high level of play and our energy’s really high.”

They have fun on the court, but they also keep focused and this week, Behie said, they’ll have “an eye on the prize.”

To win the big prize, NDSS might have to get past top-seeded Seaquam. The two programs met at a tournament on the mainland a month ago and the match came down to a third set that finally ended 17-15 for the Delta team.

“That was the best game, I think, we’ve played all season – we keep referring back to that game,” Behie said.

Milner said the Isles have improved since then.

“So we have the potential to keep up with them if we keep pushing,” she said.

A graduating Grade 12 player, Milner said it’s “very important” to her to have a positive outcome at this final week of high school volleyball.

“It’s a very good way to end the years of playing volleyball at ND,” she said. “It will be amazing if I could end it with a gold, or even a medal at provincials. We’re really looking forward to it. We can’t stop talking about it.”

COURT SHORTS … The tournament hosts, Little Flower Academy and Crofton House School, are the No. 3 and No. 5 seeds, respectively, and Vernon is No. 4 … For more local volleyball news, please click here.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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