Elementary school volleyball players rise to occasion

With the local indoor volleyball action now just about wrapped up, it’s time to credit players and coaches.

With the local indoor volleyball action now just about wrapped up, it’s time to credit players and coaches at different levels who enjoyed successful seasons.

Nanaimo Volleyball Club teams recently concluded their seasons with competition at the provincial level and secondary school teams finished their playoffs some time ago. We’ll have more on them in a future column.

This week, though, we recognize players at the elementary school level.

Michael Lundine was the coordinator for bantam (born 1998-99) girls’ teams from smaller schools with fewer than 275 students. Following the conclusion of league competition, single knockout playoffs were held that ultimately resulted in a championship title for North Oyster Elementary.

The playoff win marked a fitting conclusion for the North Oyster team that had enjoyed an undefeated season. Comprised of students from Grades 5-7, the squad was coached Anna Shupe, assisted by staff sponsor Lloyd O’Brien. Players on the championship team were Kiley Ludlow, Oriana Shandley, Piper Doerksen, Jenna Bowen, Dionna Seymour, Odessa Kasprowicz and Cynthia Frenchy.

Capturing second and third places in the playoffs were two entries from Frank J. Ney Elementary, coached by Tim Davie and Erin Canty. On Team A were players Trejuanelle Dunbar, Mikayla Kotai, Tiffany Amstutz, Madi Forde, Hailey Beemer, Jaidyn Durakovic and Selena Barr, while Team B was composed of Katelyn Olson, Taylor McEachnie, Shay Dudley, Emily Hoppe, Benett Zawasky, Maddy Hoy and Halle Berry.

Claiming fourth place was the team from Chase River.

A total of 19 teams were involved in the league for larger schools, with Darren Brick the league coordinator. Post-season playoffs culminated with a final four tournament held at North Cedar Intermediate, where a pair of teams from the host school earned district pennants, finishing first and fourth. Susan Merritt handled coaching for both teams and North Cedar principal Roger Douglas reports it is the first time he can recall that one coach has had two teams from the school in the final four of the same sport.

Players on the North Cedar team No. 1 that finished first in the playoffs were Natalie Kwas, Jasmine Sulyok, Hope Williams, Mya Fleming, Kindra Rypma, Bronwyn Krake-Morgan, Jane Hawthornthwaite and Linsay Tozer.

Second place for bantam girls’ volleyball from large schools went to Coal Tyee. Coach for the team was Rhonda Wood, with Robbie Dhillon the team sponsor. On the roster were Julie Wood, Madelin Boas, Maddy Welch, Gabby Soja, Alicia Ortiz, Alivia Acorn and Marie Taylor.

The third-place pennant went to Mountain View, coached by Darren Brick. Playing for their school were Jaime Cullon, Tatianna Sayer, Heather Velthuis, Megan Epps, Taylor Olsen, Emma Young, Alexa Bevis, Laura Greene, Danielle Curry, Castley Warwick, Breanne Trepanier, Lindsay MacDowell, Danielle Bordeleau, Amy Cooke-Yarborough and Tnia Lovell.

Elementary school athletes have a knack for volleyball

Continuing a review of local volleyball results from the past season…

Last week in this space we recognized top teams from bantam (born 1998-99) girls’ volleyball teams that had done well in elementary school playoffs. So now we check out results from bantam boys’ playoffs.

Darren Brick was the league coordinator for larger schools with a population of more than 275 students, for some sixteen teams in total. He reports that post-season playoffs culminated with a tournament held at North Cedar Intermediate. There, the matches were extremely close and competitive, with the eventual result being a district title for the squad from Randerson Ridge.

On the winning team were players Ian Tuck, Nathan Castle, Sean Casey, Nathan Ziemanski, Nick Schley, Justin Bishop, Adam Parker, Owen Frey, Nghia Nguyen, Cameron Booth and Brendan Banks. Providing the coaching for the championship Randerson boys was Marisa Radcliffe.

District runners-up were the boys from Mountain View, coached by Mr. Depka and Mrs. French. Representing their school were players Jayden Marsh, Isaac Bevis, Doug Cawthorne, Matthew Depka, Adam Fulton, Erik Hanus, Maneel Jaswal, Thomas Leaf, Nathan Rhodes, Chaz Richey, Brendan Rogers, Jack Wilton and Chris Bilodeau.

Third place overall went to the team from Forest Park. Players there included Dylan Kirby, Jesse Miller, Josh Mitchell, Graham Sexton, Nolan Decoteau, Cody Lang, Rajbir Parmar, Isaac Lightfoot, Elwin Abalos, Kyle Infanti, Dawson Spaven, Riley Scott, Ryan Nelson and Alex Stevens. Coach for the team was Dave Kotai.

In the small schools’ division, Glen Murphy oversaw the regular schedule and playoff action. Following league play, single-knockout playoffs concluded with the finals hosted in the Cilaire Elementary gym.

Ultimately, it was the host team coached by Al Drexhage that claimed the first-place pennant. District champions on the volleyball court for Cilaire were players Quinn Dusenbury, Trevor Ward, Yiorgos Vassilopoulos, Kaleb Hall-Weber, David Svenstrup, Brice Demoors, Joey Chi, Dylan Strutt, Rylan Hoffman, Hudson Richards, Ryder Porelli and Darrian Gaetz.

Placing second were the boys from Frank J. Ney, coached by Wayne Clouthier. The team enjoyed a very successful year, going undefeated in the regular season and through the playoffs until a close loss to Cilaire in the finals. Team members on the Frank J. Ney squad were Zachary Authier, Colton Davie, Nicholas Dykema, Kaeden Garraway, Matthew Jackson, Hanyeoreum Kim, Yoshi Kudo, Michal Loots, Ryan MacDonald and Eric Pizzingrilli.

Coach Brenda Peacock saw her group of boys from Gabriola Elementary finish third in the playoffs for small schools and thus become the first boys’ volleyball team from that school to ever claim a district pennant. On the roster were players Davy Bossin, Alex Dedame, Julien Jorgensen, Tyler MacKay, Reece Maddison, Gage Marsh, Kiva Parks-Gibson, Leo Reeves, Connor Reid, Kaleb Velsen and Maren Bradbrooke.

Meanwhile, there have been various community and secondary school volleyball teams that also deserve recognition for their success this past season. We’ll check those out in a future column.

Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.

Ian Thorpe writes about sports Saturdays.

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